Week of December 8, 2017
Las Posadas CARITAS
Las Posadas is a nine-day advent festival observed in Latin America and by Hispanics here in the U.S. The festival begins on December 16 and runs for nine days, culminating on Christmas Eve.
Las Posadas is Spanish for lodging or accommodations – or in the context of this advent festival, Las Posadas refers to that particular lodging place which had no room for Mary and Joseph on the first Christmas Eve. The nine days of Las Posadas constitute a novena – a nine-day interval representing the nine months of pregnancy for Mary, the mother of Jesus. Las Posadas has been celebrated in Mexico for 400 years as a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph seeking a place to stay on that special night in Bethlehem.
In Las Posadas two people portray Mary and Joseph. The couple visits houses, knocking on the door and calling out, “Will you let us in?” Each time the couple is rebuffed and sent away. At long last, when Mary and Joseph beg to be given shelter, a kindly innkeeper opens the door and lets them in. A spontaneous festival follows as the whole community gathers to celebrate God’s gracious hospitality – and the hospitality offered to those who are in need. A beloved tradition for the children is the breaking of piñatas filled with candies, fruits, and special treats.
In several of the churches I have served we re-enacted Las Posadas at an advent-themed dinner, letting the children dress up in costumes. The closed doors of classrooms represented the houses. Adult members portrayed the innkeepers (the gruffy ones get the best laughs) who turn the Holy Family away. The bursting of the piñatas was always the highlight of the evening!
As our Hispanic neighbors prepare for the upcoming annual observance of Las Posadas, FPC is now preparing for a REAL LIFE enactment of Las Posadas through our annual week-long hosting of the CARITAS ministry to the homeless in our community. On Saturday evening, homeless families (many a 'Mary' and perhaps a 'Joseph' or two, plus children of all ages) will seek and find shelter in our church home. Every year the faces are different, but the need is the same – and the shared grace of hospitality offered and received is a joy that never grows old. Please check CARITAS at FPC to see how you might offer hospitality this coming week.
“Come, you that are blessed by my Father and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” Matthew 25:34-35
Please keep in your prayers:
Those with special concerns:
- Lynne Guise
- Joyce Lloyd (mother of Rachael Brown)
- Ernie Neer
Chuck Tolson (brother of Kathy Louthan)
- The family of William Alexander "Skip" Forrest, Jr. who died on November 27.
- Betty Butterworth, on the death of her sister, Sue Hickerson Jett, on November 26.
- Kat Oros and family, on the death of her grandfather, Dr. Thomas Morrison, on October 20.
- Mary Park and family, on the death of her uncle, Robb Jarrell, on December 4.
- Cal and George Jennison, on the birth of their grandson, Jack Jennison, on December 1. Jack's parents are Jen and David Jennison.
Members and family serving in the military:
- Edward Allen
- Jenny Sigel Burkett
- Matthew Horton
- Nathan Thomas Meade
Please let us know if you have a joy or concern that we may lift up in prayer. Contact Mary Kay Collins, or any of our pastors. If you are in immediate need of pastoral care, please call the church office at 358-2383. During night and weekend hours, your call will be transferred to a pastor on call.
Friday, Dec. 8
Saturday, Dec. 9
Hiter Harris, III
Henry Wood, III
Sunday, Dec. 10
Monday, Dec. 11
Mary Pace Lewis
Tuesday, Dec. 12
Charlie de Venoge
Wednesday, Dec. 13
Thursday, Dec. 14
Friday, Dec. 15