Advent, a Season of Reflection

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Dear Peace Family,

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!””

Just hearing the word “December” brings all kinds of images…snow, ice skating, Christmas music, decorations, traditions, family gatherings, caroling.  These are wonderful images for us.  Christmas is coming.  But we are not quite there yet.  As we begin this month, we have just entered the season of the church year called “Advent.”

I looked up the word Advent and got these synonyms for it: Arrival, appearance, emergence, materialization, occurrence, dawn, birth, rise, development, approach, coming.  WOW!  This Advent must be a big thing!  What does this mean for us today?

Today, the Advent season lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas (Advent begins on the Sunday that falls between Nov 27, and Dec 3 each year). After Advent, the twelve-day celebration of Christmastide begins, which lasts from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6.

The church, during Advent, looks back (over 2000 years) at Christ’s coming in celebration, while at the same time looking forward in eager anticipation to the coming of Christ’s kingdom when he returns for his people.

While it is difficult to keep in mind in the midst of holiday celebrations, shopping, lights and decorations, and joyful carols, Advent is intended to be a season of reflection.  We reflect on what God has done in the birth of his son; on what Jesus accomplished in his death and resurrection; on the violence and evil in the world that causes us to cry out to God to make things right—to put death’s dark shadows to flight. So we immerse ourselves in His Word, and we ask for His presence. We look forward to our future New Home.  And we pray for the Holy Spirit to renew his work in conforming us into the image of Christ.

Advent is a time of preparation. We are a “called people.” We are called to prepare our hearts for His coming.  It isn’t really about our traditions, Christmas parties, or even our happiness.  It’s about what God is calling us to.  Are we listening?  We are called to wait! And while we wait, we are to share the story of Jesus!  We are to tell the poor in spirit about how the angels came first to the shepherds. We are to tell the meek about Jesus mother Mary. We are to tell those who mourn about the love and forgiveness that Jesus brings to us now.

We are called to tell the world about the coming…the arrival…the dawning of a new day. The one where we are gathered together with our Jesus in the clouds and live forever with Him and the Father in glory! Go and tell!  We have such Good News to share! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Pastor Gail