Starting the fourth Sunday (12/2) before Christmas to Christmas Eve, we will journey together in the celebration of Advent.
What is Advent?
It is a tradition that started in the fourth century where the Church focused on the Advent (which means “coming” or “arrival”) of Christ by bringing to light His birth, ministry, and promised return. It is so beneficial for us to celebrate this season because it helps us to cut through all of the distractions around the Christmas season in our current culture. Advent allows us to tell the story of how the inbreaking of the kingdom of God through the birth of Jesus Christ is the “good news of a great joy that will be for all people” (Luke 2:10). In everything we say and do as individuals, as families, and as a church body, let it point to the glory of the birth of Jesus and the joyful anticipation of His imminent return. Let us begin cleaning out parts of our lives that have gotten between us and the king, who has come and will return. Let us pray fervently for His return and for His kingdom to reign. Let us give and grow in generous service to every person God brings into our lives so that we can all experience the presence and power of Jesus Christ, who is with us and is mighty to save us from the power of sin and death. Remember what His life and the hope of His return has brought us. Find as many ways and opportunities as you can to retell the story. Live Advent.
“Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room”
Over 2000 years ago, no one was prepared for God to actually do what had been long predicted by the prophets. Sure, they believed the messiah would one day come but not in their lifetime. God broke into history, their history, and continues to break into our history today. Are we ready to receive our king? It’s easy to receive a baby. How about receiving all that this baby means for our lives and the world? No one can receive this Christ without some adjustment to their regular lives. Once we do receive him, our lives are forever changed.
Every week we will light a candle around to symbolize God’s light coming into this world. As a community of worshipers we want to enter this season with joyful anticipation and intentional living that reflects all that God has done for us against a culture of excess and instant gratification.
More Ways to Advent Together
Fellowship & Hospitality: Families and friends expect to get together around Christmas. Gather with one another as often as you can to express our unity in Christ. We are a family in Christ. This is also a time to demonstrate hospitality to our neighbors from informal gatherings to formal dinners.
Service: We have a great opportunity to love and serve our city during this season. We can become more like Jesus, who “came to earth to taste our sadness, he whose glories knew no end. By his life he brings us gladness, our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.”