December 2018

Advent

With the way that the calendar is arranged this year, we’ve had an additional week after Thanksgiving, allowing us some time before the traditional Christmas season to decorate our church and homes with lots of holiday cheer. But I couldn’t help but notice that some folks in our community started decorating even before Thanksgiving!
 
If you think about it, this shouldn’t surprise any of us. Our stores and malls have been decorating early for Christmas for many years and some would say that the reason is “commercialism”, a greed on the part of businesses who want us to start working on our shopping lists and to get us caught up in the spirit of giving and receiving gifts from one another. Some Christians have criticized them for doing this, suggesting that they take away from the true meaning of Christmas.
 
So why do we start so early? I think our hearts are restless and I think God has given us a sense of dissatisfaction with life, causing us to seek something greater, something that would not merely satisfy us physically, as many Christmas gifts do, but also spiritually, as nothing but God can do.
 
I think this is why the church created the season of Advent. While I think the tradition of gift giving is meaningful, I also think there is something inside of us that needs something of deeper meaning to take place in our lives. That’s why we don’t just talk about a baby being born, but a baby that could bring us redemption in the midst of our sin and despair. That’s why we talk about giving birth to our relationship with God or God giving birth to a new ministry in our church and placing a new calling upon our lives.
 
It’s why we give gifts with the needs of loved ones, friends, and even strangers on our minds. The gifts are meaningful when they have something redemptive behind them, namely, that God loves others and wants people to know that the message of Christmas is for them too.
 
I want to invite you to come and be a part of this journey of Advent and see the redemption that God has in store for this world. Take time to get caught up in the story of the bible that has captured hearts and baffled minds for thousands of years and wait for God to begin something new in your life. Let us heed the words from Luke which say:
 
“Now when these things begin to happen, stand up straight and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

In Christ’s footsteps we walk,
Pastor Roger