No other birth in the whole of history is as widely celebrated as the birth of Jesus. No other celebration in the world involves more people, touches more places, and transcends more differences. On Christmas day much of the world pauses, takes a break because a child is born.
This Sunday morning is the start of a four-week period ending on Christmas Eve, called Advent. The definition of the word advent means, “the coming” and is actually the celebration of not one but two advents. First, it is the looking back at God’s story to what he’s done in the sending of His son Jesus, and secondly, advent is the looking forward with anticipation to what he will do in His victorious second Coming. Both of these advents of past and future, when we take time to pause our full scheduled lives and reflect on these realities, inculcate deep Hope. This is wonderful and also a bit terrifying because advent also causes us to reflect on our personal present.
The present, in that If we truly believe this advent story – and that God is who he says he is, that his son Jesus has died and rose again and ascended to heaven, that Jesus will come again to judge “the quick and the dead” and that God’s desire is to draw every person on this earth to himself for eternity, then, we can’t possibly continue on as if our life is our own. Can we? Are we living our lives in the light of what Christ has done and will do? These are the questions that the season of Advent calls us to ask. This is such a beautiful season of anticipation reflection and action.
I invite you to join us every Sunday morning this season, as they have been prayerfully thought through to help us reflect on a different aspect of the beauty and wonder of Jesus over Advent. God with us in Relating, Creating, Guiding and Connecting. Each week will also highlight something different: Families, the Kids Christmas Pageant, Communion, Baptism, and Pastor Derrick has a word of hope for you personally and for the church.
Don’t miss our production of A Christmas Carol. This is an adaptation of the holiday classic story of Scrooge. While remaining true to the original story, this production adds a powerful message of a transformed heart. Start times are Friday and Saturday December 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. and Sunday December 8th at 6 p.m. Come early for a good seat.
Christmas Eve. This is a do-not-miss highlight which brings to a close our advent season for CLA. Pastor Laura and Pastor Jeremy have planned a candlelight service with a variety of traditional Christmas carols, worship, a kid’s video, and special music. Invite your friends and collogues, and prayerfully invite your Friday Five on December 24th – 3:00, 4:30, and 6:00 p.m.
We love you CLA, and Merry Christmas!
–Doug Frederick Associate Pastor, Gather