27 NOV 2016Image Not Found.
“Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with celebration! Come before him with shouts of joy! Know that the Lord is God – he made us; we belong to him. We are his people, the sheep of his own pasture. Enter his gates with thanks; enter his courtyards with praise! Thank him! Bless his name! Because the Lord is good, his loyal love lasts forever; his faithfulness lasts generation after generation. Psalm 100 CEB
Kathryn and I are so thankful for you. You are our church family and you have been and continue to be a blessing to us. We are blessed by your thoughtfulness and care for our family. On this Thanksgiving, part of our thanks to God is for our church family. Thank you!
I hope that each of you enjoys your time with family and friends during this Thanksgiving season. I pray for your safe travel. I hope that each of you will meditate on the words of Psalm 100 sometime over this Thanksgiving season.
It does not seem possible that 2016 is coming to an end. For the church, our liturgical year does not end on December 31, it ends on the last Sunday of Pentecost which this year was November 20th. Our new church liturgical year begins this coming Sunday with the First Sunday of Advent.
The word Advent comes from the Latin word, “adventus” which means “coming.” The season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. It offers us the opportunity to experience the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and our present yearning for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.
Many Christians celebrate Advent not only by thanking God for Christ's first coming to Earth as a baby, but also for his presence among us today through the Holy Spirit. We look forward in preparation and with anticipation of his final coming at the end of time.
Christians have been keeping the season of Advent since at least the fifth century. It was originally a forty-day season of preparation much like Lent is a forty-day preparation before Easter. The forty-day season eventually was reduced to four weeks. We celebrate Advent for the four Sundays prior to Christmas.
It is my hope and prayer that our worship will assist each of us in this journey of preparation.
Our annual Christmas Eve Candlelight and Communion service will be held in our sanctuary on Saturday, December 24th at 6:00 pm. This is a great service to invite your family and friends to join us. It was a special service last year and I look forward to worshipping with each of you this year.
Christmas is on Sunday this year. So, your family may be able to worship God on Sunday and be attentive to your family’s needs and schedules, we will not be holding Sunday School and will offer a less formal worship service. If your class wants to meet, the church will be open for you.
Our worship service will be filled with singing the great Christmas hymns of our faith. The service will be less formal and everyone is invited to come dressed as you will for the rest of the day. I will be sharing one of my favorite Christmas stories that helps remind me of the reason for the season. I hope that it will be a blessing to you as well.