How long is your Christmas card list? Online or snail mail? Picture or Christmas letter? So many things to consider. This week I was organizing my life around Christmas cards. Cards are a wonderful opportunity to say – “you are important”, “I remember you”, “I thank God for you” and “I’m praying for you”. My CLA Christmas card list is 2,145 cards (you will be getting yours this week). That represents a lot of people. Many cards are to individuals, but most are to couples or families. It is well over 3,000 people who call CLA their home church. And Christmas is an opportunity to show love and call us to mission. CLA is a spiritual family on a God given assignment. This Christmas I’m praying for you; that the next 4 Sundays would be refreshing, hope filled and would allow you to engage your family and friends in the witness of our Saviour’s birth.
Advent is a season that embraces the four Sundays prior to Christmas and concludes with our Christmas Eve / Christmas Day services. Advent means coming or arrival. It was first celebrated by the early church to remember and relive the story of Christ’s arrival, to pass on the importance of the event. It’s a time of expectancy and preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. For me it has always been about finding rest and focus in a season notorious for materialism, busyness, and exhaustion. As your pastor, I want us to be able to focus on what really matters and prepare our hearts and minds to remember the birth of Christ and all that it means for the believer. Advent also embraces the expectancy of Christ’s next arrival. The “second Advent” then, overlaps with the first. We celebrate Jesus’ first coming and use that sense of fulfillment to fuel our hope for his second coming and to strengthen us to work for signs of that kingdom in our own day. I encourage you to build into your spiritual rhythms’ special readings, prayer times and maybe an Advent calendar. This season is a “teachable” moment for children.
Here are some ways for us to celebrate together during Advent…
- Hope Has a Name Sunday mornings – 10 am
- Christmas Tent Outreach in Langley – Dec 2, 3, 4 AND Dec 9, 10, 11
- Young Adult Christmas Party– December 8
- Thrive Carols by Candlelight – December 10
- Stocking Delivery for Bus Ministry Kids – December 10 & 15
- Kids Christmas “Hope for Everyone” & Family Feast - December 11
- Rev Christmas Banquet – December 13
- Thrive Christmas Banquet - December 16
- Recovery Church Christmas – December 18
- Christmas Eve – Langley 4:30 & 6 pm (also live streamed)
- Recovery Church Street Outreach, December 24
- Live Christmas Day Service in Langley at 10 am (also online)