Fellow sisters and brothers in Christ,  

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends. 

This Sunday is the first Sunday in Advent.  Advent is a time to prepare ourselves with great care to celebrate the birth of Jesus and to look forward to “The Day”, when God reigns over all the earth.  Advent literally means arrival.  During Advent we actively wait for the coming of Christ in our lives.  As we prepare ourselves to celebrate a past event, we also prepare ourselves to encounter Christ in the present and the future.  This looking back while also looking forward is the reason that written prayers, hymns and scripture readings during Advent focus not only on the story of Jesus’ birth, but also on the hopeful picture of God’s future

We hear this hopeful future described by the prophet Isaiah in chapter 2 verse 4.  “God shall judge between the nations…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks, nation shall not lift ups sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”  In Paul’s letter to the Romans, Paul instructs them on how to live before the great and glorious day described by Isaiah.  He says, “let us live honorably as in the day…putting on the Lord Jesus Christ and making no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” 

As we enter the season of Advent, what are you longing for?  What are you hoping for? How are you planning to live your life over the course of the next four weeks?  What practices will you engage to prepare yourself for the celebration of Christmas?  We are living in a special moment, not because it’s four weeks before Christmas, but because a new day dawned when Jesus first came into this world.  The full day is not yet here, but one day it will.  In the meantime, we are invited on an Advent Journey—a journey to hope.    

Will you come along on this journey with me?

See you on Sunday,

Pastor Dave