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Advent Hope

Dear Partners in Ministry,

Soon we will be entering the season of Advent and another busy time of holiday preparations, Christmas programs, family traditions, travel, and never-ending to-do lists. Amid the chaos of our busy lives Advent invites us to make time for Sabbath renewal. But given all that has happened during the past year, many may struggle to experience the “hope, love, joy, and peace” that the season of Advent proclaims.

Yet, in the face of the world’s darkness and the “holiday blues” that many experience this time of year, Christians around the world will once again gather for midweek Advent worship services. We gather to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and to prepare ourselves to receive the Christ child with joyful and hopeful hearts.

This year our midweek worship services will take place on Dec. 1, 8, and 15 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Baugh-Marshall Chapel (located at 6601 Monticello Road in Shawnee). The announcement by the angel Gabriel to Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus is at the heart of the Christian narrative and beautifully set to music in the Holden Evening Prayer. Together we will join our voices with a young expectant mother, who despite her own fears and worries, still sings of the wondrous things that God is doing in the world.

If you feel the weight of the busy holidays wearing you down, I invite you to consider joining us this Advent. If you know of someone for whom the holidays are difficult, please invite your friend or family member to accompany you to one of the midweek worship services. Remember, Jesus frequently invited people to “Come and see.”

May the power of communal prayer this Advent help all of us to experience transformation and reconciliation in our lives through the hope, love, joy, and peace that Christ graciously gives. And may the “mighty God of all creation, the gentle Christ who lights our way, [the] loving Spirit of salvation lead us on to endless day.”

In Joyful Hope,
Pastor Jon

Tags: Weekly Word