December 21, 2020

Are you ready for Christmas? Have you hung the shining star upon the highest bough and the stockings by the chimney with care? Is holly decking your halls and being seen on your own front door? Are there presents in, on, or under the tree or in brown paper packages tied up with strings? 

Are you ready for Christmas? Did you send cards and letters to everyone you know, and then later to everyone you forgot the first time? Have you made the fruitcake and ordered the goose? Have you sung every carol you know in the kitchen, the car, and the shower?

Are you ready for Christmas? Are you keeping a watch for the mail, UPS, and FedEx? Are you keeping track of the items you ordered and biting your nails about the ones scheduled to arrive on December 23? Do you plan to stay up and monitor the reports from NORAD as they track Santa around the world?

Jesus talked a lot about being ready, but I’m sorry to tell you that they are not happy Christmas stories. In one story, he told about ten bridesmaids (Matthew 25:1-13). Five were sensible and ready when the groom came late at night, but five of them hadn’t done all of their shopping. When they finally finished their shopping, it was too late—the bridegroom wouldn’t let them join the party. “So always be ready!” Jesus said.

Jesus told a story about servants who stayed up, dressed and waiting for their master to get home late at night (Luke 12:35-38). “Blessed are the servants who are awake when he comes!” Jesus said.

In another story, Jesus contrasts what will happen to a servant who is doing what the master expects him to be doing when he arrives home, with what will happen to a servant who isn’t ready (Luke 12:42-47). The faithful servant is rewarded, and the lazy servant is beaten. 

A fourth story tells about a man who invited many people to a banquet. When the time came, they made excuses about having other commitments (Luke 14:16-24). The host immediately sent out new invitations, filling his house so that there would be no room for his first guests. In Jesus’ story, the host said, “I can guarantee that none of those invited earlier will taste any food at my banquet!”

Jesus told several more stories on this same topic: Be ready! Stay alert! Keep watch! They aren’t about his first coming; they are about his ultimate return. The great thing about Christmas is that we know exactly what day it will be. If we realize on December 24 that we’ve forgotten something, we can still take care of it before the Baby Jesus arrives on December 25. This won’t be true next time. In most of his stories about staying ready, he makes the point that we can’t know and won’t know when King Jesus will arrive in glory.

Are you ready? Get ready!

An Advent Prayer: 
Dear Lord Jesus, remind me to be ready for your arrival every day. Amen.

-- Regina Hunter
Join St. John’s Music Director Matthew Greer for the last “Monday Morning Music” of 2020! He will welcome his good friend, pianist Amy Greer, for a discussion/argument about music of the season and beyond. CLICK HERE TO JOIN.
Mondays | 10:00 am & Tuesdays | 7:00 pm
"Incarnation" is a new 5-session Advent and Christmas study by Adam Hamilton, bringing a message of hope in the context of this complicated season of pandemic and elections. What can we learn from the names used for Jesus by the prophets, the shepherds, the wise men, and the angels? Let us reflect together on the significance of the Christ child for our lives and for the world today. This Zoom study will be held on Monday mornings (Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14, 21 and Jan. 4), with a 10:00 am study led by CLM Mike Furnish ( and Tuesday evenings (Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 and Jan. 5) at 7:00 pm led by CLM Joe Marshall ( Please contact either leader if interested. The study book can be purchased from
During Advent you are invited to participate in personal Advent Evening Prayer and Worship in the comfort of your home at the close of each day. Download this guide HERE.
Yoga with Kira |
Extra Gentle Yoga

Enjoy 15 minutes of easy, restful, reclining (lying down) movement. Slow down. Connect to your breath. Nourish the health of your joints. Click the colorful thumbnail to the right to access this video!
Drive-in Movie Event organized by Therese Macali & Jarrod Conyers!
Thursday, December 24

4:00 pm Family Service (Music and stories for children with Therese Macali)

5:30 pm Abide Service

LUMINARIAS: One Night Only, Free Viewing for All!
Thursday, December 24 | After Sunset
Even though the church building is closed, the spirit of the season is alive. Our own Abide Service wanted to light the way for the Christ-child on Christmas Eve by “lighting up” St. John’s with luminarias. So view your favorite service online this Christmas Eve, then any time after sunset drive by the church to see our building lit up with the traditional New Mexico decoration of luminarias. For those of you who have been sequestered at home, this is a great reason to get you out of the house while keeping you safe within your vehicles. There is no service associated with this event. It is merely for your enjoyment and meditation during this season of joy, peace and love. We hope you will come and enjoy the wonder, beauty and humility of this glorious occasion of our Savior’s birth.
Wednesdays | 12:00 pm
Join us for a series of concerts live-streamed from the St. John's sanctuary! Concerts are a benefit for Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless.

Sol Calypso
Join Alexis Corbin, Hovey Corbin, and family members for a fun and festive Christmas concert.
Sundays | 9:30 & 11:00 am
St. John’s will live-stream a worship service on Sunday morning at 9:30 am (Contemporary) on the Abide Facebook page and 11:00 am (Traditional) on our Youtube Channel. We hope you’ll worship with us! (Pastors Pam and Kelly will lead, along with Shea Perry, Jim Ahrend, and Matt Greer). We hope that you’ll participate by singing and praying at home! Any questions? Email Matt at

Sunday Community Activities: Click HERE to view all Sunday School Classes & groups! Join us in the virtual Sonshine Coffee Zoom immediately following the 11:00 am Worship with church Leadership Team members hosting. Zoom registration is HERE
Thursday, December 31 | 5:30 pm
This has been a difficult year and we have the opportunity to begin the new year with a service of healing and wholeness, bringing our weariness, aches, sadness and concern before the Christ Child laid in a manger bed. There will be a time of “anointing”, so please have a little bowl of oil ready. We will sing songs of the Taize community and have times of silent reflection during our worship experience. Please look for the worship guide and the link to the live-stream on December 31st at 5:30.
Prayer Requests:
The Gruen family in the passing into glory of Marge

Ann Boland and family in the passing into glory of Bob

Roger and Donna Eaton in the passing of sister Virginia Davis

Donna Bruce in the passing of her brother

Karen and Hal Tidler in the passing of their brother-in-law
Kelly Giese is the recipient for the prayer quilt on display for December 7 - December 20.

In lieu of tying knots, please pray this prayer (or your own prayer) for Kelly: “Loving Lord, we ask that as Kelly moves forward to a new location and a new ministry, may your Holy Spirit lead and guide her and keep her steadfast, always abounding in your work and in your love. Amen."
 DECEMBER SPECIAL OFFERING: Two Ministries for Children
This month, we have the opportunity to support two wonderful ministries dealing with children. The Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, Texas, has helped troubled children (ages 12-18) find a place to heal and grow in a loving Christian environment for over 125 years. Younger children thrive in homes of loving foster parents. “They (MCH) are here for me when no one else is.” “They never give up on us.” “I now know that God’s going to be there for me.
      A second Methodist-supported haven for children is Providence Place in San Antonio, Texas. Its motto says it all: “Giving God’s Children a Faith, a Family, a Future.” “Providence Place loved me and helped me make the best decision for my child without any pressure,” said one birth mother in the open adoption program. And, as an adoptive couple puts it, “It is indescribable the joy that Abby has brought into our lives.” Providence Place also helps young adults with physical and/or cognitive disabilities develop their full potential and learn to live on their own with minimal assistance.  Both of these fine ministries rely on our generous donations.
Contact Us
(505) 883-9717
2626 Arizona St NE | Albuquerque, NM 87110
Office Hours (call only): Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Questions? Contact Shea Perry at