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December - Pastor's Message

posted Dec 2, 2014, 11:43 PM by Karen Lindsey   [ updated Dec 2, 2014, 11:43 PM ]
The weeks before Christmas are busy for all of us as we shop for presents, decorate our homes, and anticipate family gatherings. But Advent should also be a time when we prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christmas. Advent is the first season in the church year. It begins a story that will be told throughout the liturgical year.  A story that will find its climax with the celebration of Easter. The church has
celebrated Advent from its earliest days and it has been an important time of spiritual renewal and growth in faith. Here some important facts about the season 
of Advent:

The Meaning of Advent – Advent is a Latin word that means “to come to.” So Advent is a time when we remember the coming of Christ into the world on Christmas day. We also remember that Christ comes to us today through Word and Sacrament.  The Risen Christ is present with us this Advent season bestowing his grace upon those who - through repentance and faith - trust in Him and His power to forgive and grant new life. Finally, we also look forward to the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time.

The Message of Advent – The message of Advent is “prepare!” We listen again to the message of John the Baptist: “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” We prepare our hearts for Jesus’ coming by reflecting upon our sin and our need for God’s grace. Just as John the Baptist prepared the people for the birth of Jesus 2,000 years ago, so we proclaim John’s message to prepare the world for the celebration of Christmas.

The Mood of Advent – The mood of advent is serious but not somber.  Because of its emphasis upon repentance, Advent has been compared to Lent. But Advent is also a time of excitement and expectation that our Savior will soon be born in Bethlehem. And so we sing, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”!

The Observance of Advent – During Advent, we focus our worship on the meaning of Jesus’ coming into the world. Jesus was born in order that he might die for us.  The shadow of the cross darkened hangs over the manger. This child came to be our Savior.  He came to die on a cross to atone for our sins and reconcile us to God. During Advent, we repent of our sin, ask God for forgiveness, and hear again God’s gracious word of forgiveness.

We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season. But especially, the gift of a Savior who is Christ the Lord. May you have a blessed Advent season.

In Christ,
Pastor Ron