Human nature is such that we prefer the sweet to the sour, the easy to the hard, the light rather than the darkness. But for the light to seem bright, we first need to spend time in darkness. Similarly, we need Advent to comprehend the gift of Christmas. This series allows us to dwell in Advent, to notice that we’re living in between the two advents, to dare to look at the world’s darkness in order to better see the brightness of Christ’s light.
Series for the Season
Almost every autumn, pastors in some churches feel a push to preach about giving. This year we wanted to do more than focus attention on the church budget. We wanted to set the tone for a positive and “big picture” conversation about stewardship.
The Day It All Comes Together
We mourned our sin during Lent, commemorated Christ’s death on Good Friday, and celebrated his resurrection on Easter. But this is the day it all comes together—this is the day we celebrate the coronation of the King!
Advent draws our attention to Christ. When our attention is focused on him, our attitudes are transformed from our human reactions to his life-giving way.
The characters in the Advent story experiencedthe transformation of their questioning and fearfulhuman attitudes by encountering God. Through theseAdvent services, we encountered God, confronted ourhuman attitudes, and experienced and celebrated the transformingpower of Christ’s love on Christmas Day.
Union with Christ is the basis for our relationship with the triune God. By it we may join Jesus in joyful communion with the Father in the loving bond of the Holy Spirit so the deepest longings of our souls are satisfied. The meaning of our lives unfolds in loving and serving the God with whom we are united. This, in turn, leads to communion in love with others and meaningful service to the world.
Our worship planning team sat around the table, discouraged by the personal suffering and global disasters surrounding us. As we thought about ministering to these needs, we were reminded that God uses suffering to refine our character. What better time than Lent to reflect upon our own hardships in light of Christ’s work on the cross?