• on December 10, 2021

From the Pastor

“Advent and Covid”
Rev. William Bills
December 9, 2021

As we observe the season of Advent, preparing our lives, our hearts, and our minds for the coming of Christ, we must consider another advent, the advent of the Omicron Covid variant. Mark, Luke, and Matthew always give us a first Sunday of Advent reading from their respective “little apocalypses.” Each year in the lectionary cycle, on the first Sunday of Advent, those three authors remind us that Jesus came the first time in a manner quite unexpected. In the same way they remind us that the second coming of Christ will be at a time and place unknown to us. The gospel writers urge us to be vigilant, on guard, to keep awake, for no one knows when the Son of Man might return. Their concern is for the unprepared.

And so it is with Covid. It comes and it goes in a cyclical manner not unlike our lectionary cycle. As with the coming of the Son of Man in the last days, Covid may come to us unexpected. So we must prepare ourselves for the coming of Covid and its variants when least expected. “Be alert”, Jesus advises, “for the coming of the Son of Man. Nobody knows the time or the day of its occurring, not even the Son.” We must be vigilant this Christmas.

We will hold one Christmas Eve service at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. It will be a time of carols, lessons, and communion. A service for children and families will be uploaded to Facebook and YouTube earlier in the day. We will livestream the 7:00 p.m. service. It may be viewed later at a more convenient time as a recording. If you would like communion elements for Christmas Eve at home, please contact us (office@eluumc.org or 517-351-7030).

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were turned away from the inn due to lack of available rooms. Today, hospitals are stretched thin. Some are receiving medical teams from military units for help. In some hospitals, patients are being treated in the hallways. Hospitals are recruiting staff from other states not hit so hard. Our members have had surgeries postponed because there is no room at the inn. Others must wait to be seen for routine treatment.

So as you prepare yourself for the Christ child, prepare yourself as well, for safety. When you come to worship on Christmas Eve, as well as the Sundays before and after, please continue to practice social distancing. (Family groups may sit together at their discretion.) Some pews are still roped off. Enter the sanctuary by the center doors and exit by the side. Wear a mask. Please stay home if you don’t feel well.  Don’t linger in the building.

Be vigilant. Be on guard. It can come as a thief in the night. If you are vaccinated and boosted, you may feel very safe. As an act of Christ-like compassion, consider the needs of others. Put their needs first. Put their safety and health first. Be vigilant, be alert, be on your guard, so that we might all know a blessed, safe, and healthy Christmas.

At University United Methodist Church, we affirm that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are an open and inclusive congregation and welcome all persons into full participation regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, age, ability, education, background and whether single or partnered.

Worship with Us

Sunday Morning Worship
In-person Traditional worship at 9:30AM and REACH Band-Led worship at 11AM. Both services are livestreamed to YouTube


Tower Alert Newsletter

Tower Alert is the weekly newsletter of University United Methodist Church.  It is published on Wednesday evenings.