Purpose Check

7 December 2022

Not all of you have the privilege of interacting with everyone on the COS staff.  I’m proud of them.  Each of these special people bring a unique enthusiasm, faith, insight and value to our ministry leadership team.   Along with many of you, they are magi, or wise women and men, who bring incredible gifts to Jesus as the Holy Spirit gathers us in this precious faith community at COS.

One such insightful staff leader is Ingrid Hudson who serves as our Director of Children and Family.   With Ingrid’s permission, I pass on a reflection she just wrote yesterday about her faith journey this season.  Since these COS emails you receive throughout December are designed to be an Advent calendar of sorts, whereby you open emails/windows to experience all kinds of faith insights, I thought it extra neat to share it with you today:

“With advent season in full swing. I can’t help but look at all the different Advent calendars. I mean, growing up there was a $1.99 chocolate one from Aldi that I think my parents occasionally got us. We also had a beautiful wreath and lit one candle a week, on Sundays, and excitedly lit the Christ candle in the center on Christmas.  Now adays, you can get a nail polish, wine, cheese, Barbie, Hot Wheels, and even dog treat “advent calendars.” And with all these "tools” to help us countdown to Christmas, I can’t help but find myself thinking, “what are we counting down TO?” “What are we waiting FOR?” Are we counting down the days until we step into “the perfect Christmas”? You know, the one we see in all the Christmas catalogs flooding our mailboxes, the one with the perfect family with multiple generations smiling and getting along- all seemingly consumed by the joy that surrounds them?!! Maybe Christmas is a painful time, one that opens wounds that can be hidden in plain sight at other times of the year. Maybe you’d rather have an “advent calendar” that jumps to the New Year- where people start looking ahead, rather than reminiscing on the past- past hurts, past Christmases that just didn’t go as planned, past pain. 

As these thoughts swirl in my mind tonight, I must stop and pause. Pause and recenter. Pause and regroup. Pause and PRAY. Pray that whatever we are “doing” to count down, that we are counting down to “God with US.” God with us in our imperfections. God with us in our pain. It is through Him, the giver of hope, of light, of love- that we may find JOY.  And as we light those candles on our advent wreaths, may we allow ourselves to feel- wrap ourselves in the LIGHT of that beautiful baby in the manger so that we can reflect it to people and places that desperately need to feel its warmth.”  

Thank you, Ingrid—and all our devotional writers this season—for your heart-felt sharing and inspiration.

Pastor Fritz

Let us pray.  Dear Lord, indeed, we are susceptible this season to high blood pressure worrying about if we have enough lights on our trees instead of wondering with hope about the luminous gift of the Light coming afresh to us.   When we get side-tracked with the glitz, help us pause.  Help us center ourselves in the promises of your coming hope, peace, and grace.  In the name of the King who wants to bring fresh birth to all, Amen.   


If you want to share your life celebrations or concerns with one of the pastors, please email either of us at pastorfritz@coslutheran.org or pastormiriam@coslutheran.org.

And always feel free to lift up your prayers with our COS Prayer Team.

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