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“Saint John the Baptist,” Alvise Vivarini, c. 1475

Pastor’s Note for December 12

In this season when the days darken so early, it’s a joy to see the myriad Christmas lights strung on our energetic neighbors’ houses, shining in the dark, a note of hope amid all that these days are holding.

Next week, on the evening of Wednesday, December 15, we will have a Blue Christmas service that is a time to remember, to grieve what has been lost in the year we’ve had, and to begin to look ahead in hope, to take comfort in the presence of Christ’s Spirit. This service will be both in-person in the sanctuary and streamed for viewing at home.

This Sunday, we read the story of John the Baptist, or John the Prophet, as might better describe his work and witness. We hear of his call for us to turn and to look for light in a new direction, to commit to better aligning our lives and choices with the faith that we profess, to prepare the way in the world for the coming Christ.

One of the Advent hymns we will sing is “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus;” its words hold a heartfelt prayer for us all as we prepare for Christmas:

“Saint John the Baptist,” Alvise Vivarini, c. 1475
“Saint John the Baptist,” Alvise Vivarini, c. 1475

Come, Thou long-expected

Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

May the light that shines in the darkness light your way in this holy season,


Join Us for Worship Service

Every Sunday at 10:30 am

First Presbyterian Church
1200 SW Alder Street
Portland, Oregon 97205

Tel: (503) 228-7331