Advent and Christmas at Knox 2020

In some ways, this Advent and Christmas will be like every other year. Advent will begin four Sundays before Christmas. We will light Advent wreaths, and remember how the light of God came to be with us in Jesus Christ. We will look forward to our Lord’s advent, anticipating that great day when we will finally know the fullness of God’s justice, peace, and love. Candles will be lit on Christmas Eve, December 24th, as we sing Christmas carols like “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” And on Christmas Day, we will marvel again at the miracle of the God made flesh.

But in 2020, our celebrations will look a little different. Rather than making Advent wreaths on the Knox campus, we will be picking up kits to make a wreath at home this year. Along with the wreath-making materials, we will be taking home an Advent devotional booklet, Christmas card craft kits, hot chocolate mix, and cookie-decorating supplies. And when we stop by Knox, a Christmas photo booth will be set up on our front patio.

On November 29th, the first Sunday of Advent, we will host an all-ages Advent Night on Zoom, complete with carol singing, scripture reading, wreath and cookie-making tutorials, and holiday games.  Instead of dropping by the Giving Tree in our sanctuary narthex, as we ordinarily do each year, in 2020 we can visit the Alternative Christmas Market hosted online. There, we can contribute to mission organizations and efforts Knox is highlighting this holiday season. We can also drop items by the Knox campus for a toiletries drive.

Knox has traditionally marked each day in Advent with not only a scripture passage, but a reflection in word or art from a member of the Knox community. These are assembled each year in an Advent devotional booklet. For 2020, we will be sharing scripture readings online, with a new one posted at 7:30 am each morning, beginning on Monday, November 30th. The reflections will come from a daily devotional entitled Do Not Be Afraid, which will be included in the Advent kits.

Mindful of losses this year from COVID-19, we will be hosting an outdoor prayer vigil on December 20th alongside other Pasadena churches. Luminaries will be placed and lit on each of our church campuses as we remember those who have passed.  Instead of gathering in our sanctuary on December 24th, we will be hosting our annual Christmas Pageant drive-in movie style. People can remain in their cars for the pageant, or sit on the church lawn (weather allowing). Attendees will receive a snack-pack to enjoy, and have the chance to sing Christmas carols together. The pageant will be posted later that evening online so anyone can watch it from their homes. At 7 pm, we will host an outdoor service of lessons, carols, and candlelight. Then on Christmas Day, we’ll watch on Knox’s Facebook page as the staff and their families read the Christmas story.

Anticipating that great day of our Lord’s advent (or “coming”), we celebrate Advent and Christmas this and every year in whatever ways we can. In 2020 – and in every year until that blessed day of our Lord – may we rejoice that God is still at work in Christ, imparting to human hearts “the blessings of His heaven.”

Pastor Matt