By Pastor Phil Cooley
How has your year gone? I would expect that, as is true for me and my family, your year has been a mixed bag of moments that you wish will never end and moments that you are thankful they have ended or that you hope will end soon. Such is life. But it’s the reality that our lives are not all that we hope them to be that makes the season of advent so significant. Advent reminds us that our present reality is not our future reality. We celebrate the birth of Jesus for who he is but also for what his arrival represents.
During this advent season we will explore how Jesus’ birth changed the world. We will explore this change through four words that carry great meaning for believers of Jesus Christ. On the first Sunday of Advent, December 1, we will explore how Jesus birth brought “Hope” to the world. On December 8 we will explore the “Peace” that Jesus brings. On December 15 we will hear how Jesus birth is God’s act of “Love” for and towards his creation. On the final Sunday of Advent, December 22, we will celebrate the “Joy” that accompanied Jesus birth. Then, on Christmas Eve at 5:30pm, we will hear the Christmas story in its entirety, sing Christmas songs together and end our celebration with a candlelit singing of Silent Night.
Of course every Sunday will be filled with Christmas music but we are excited for some special music during our season of advent. On the third week of advent, December 15 our children will be singing and leading us in classic songs of Christmas. The following Sunday, December 22, our Christmas Choir will perform. Both performances will be a delightful celebration of our savior Jesus Christ.
In all of our advent celebration we hope that you find encouragement that this life, full of highs and lows, will not compare to what God has planned for us and that we can have confidence in that fact because God sent His son as a baby to the world He loves.
In anticipation of exploring the significance of Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy in light of Jesus’ birth, I would love to hear your story of how one of those four words is significant to you. I invite you to click here and briefly share your story of how you have experienced Hope, Peace, Love, or Joy because of Jesus.