Rector’s Corner: This year, our parish will introduce a Christmas Eve Service for Children at 4:30pm. Our goal is to open an opportunity for both parents and guardians, kids and young people, to enjoy church together in a slightly new way. We will have singing, prayer, re-telling of the Christmas story, and Holy communion for adults. You can even bring your kids in their pajamas. So, come with the whole family and have some fun time on Christmas Eve. Spread the News and hope to see you and your loved ones.
“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus”
I was inspired to write this Christmas message while in the midst of reading an advent reflection from Adele Finney’s “Living in the Edge.”
In one of the daily meditations, I paid a special attention on the theme about “Kenosis”. A Greek term which means “emptying.” (An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church)
5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. Philippians 2:5-7a (NRSV)
Perhaps, your question would be, how do we empty ourselves in order to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Listen! Listening is an effective tool that we can all use to minister to one another. It enables the other person to tell a story or a life experience on how God has manifested His great love and unceasing compassion. For me, this is Kenosis. This is how we can empty ourselves. This is how Jesus and His disciples ministered to people at their time.
Reflect! This is our own ability to listen to the voice of God. What God is calling us to do for ourselves, for our church community and to the wider community that we are a part of. This is also our ability to listen to ourselves. To empty ourselves in the busyness of our lives is to pause and take some time to be in the stillness of our God.
Act! This is about doing the will of God and responding to God’s call in loving service. It should focus on uplifting the name of Jesus Christ and His message more than anyone else including our very own self. This to me is a concrete expression of Kenosis or Self-Emptying.
May God’s love and Peace be with you and your loved ones this Christmas Season.
Prayer: creating God, you call us to live in harmony with nature, one another, and with you. Now fix our eyes upon Jesus to whom your purpose for the world has been revealed, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.
The Venerable Louie Engnan
Saint Michael’s Anglican Parish