Look around, and you can tell that Christmas is on its way! The weather has turned colder; we are bombarded with holiday commercials, Christmas jingles, toy catalogs, elaborate decorations – in fact, “Christmas” is everywhere we look! Cookie baking, present buying, card writing, tree cutting, and even Hallmark movies - are all signs saying that Christmas is just around the corner! Our shopping lists are growing larger, and our bank accounts are growing smaller! Families scurry to make holiday plans, trying to finalize already overly busy calendars. Festivities surround us!!!
Perhaps though, we are missing the most significant indicator that Christmas is on its way. We only need to look as far as the church calendar and the season of Advent. Advent – the time that encourages us to prepare for the true meaning of Christmas. Advent - the season to remember that the Christ Child came to live among us…our Savior who took the form of a human and who was born to secure our redemption. The Savior who laid aside His glory because of His great love for us. It is because of this amazing love that “the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us! John 1:14
Do you believe that the “Word” (God) became flesh? It seems absurd that the God of the universe would lower Himself to become one of us and walk among us. Why would He ever do this? Perhaps, during this time of Advent, we can take the time to reflect on what that one sentence in the Bible really means…. that the God of heaven and earth came into this world to reveal Himself to us, to be in relationship with us, to love and be loved by us…to save us. That is why He came. For you...For me...
In the wonder of the season, let’s not trivialize Christmas by only focusing on the “commercial” side of the holiday. Prepare yourself during this time of Advent, and find yourself experiencing all that this season has to offer...
His unconditional love, grace, and glory!
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory,
the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
As we begin our Advent journey, we light the first Advent candle, and it is the Candle of Hope. Please take a few minutes and meditate on the gift of Hope. Perhaps you can begin an Advent journal and answer a few of these questions about Hope, and what it means to you.
What is HOPE?
Why is Hope important in your life?
Why is Hope important to God?
What is the power of Hope?
How does Hope affect our lives?
Why is it important to never lose Hope?
What does the Bible say about Hope?
Please see below our first Advent Devotional for 2021.
“Whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction so that we could have hope through endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures.”
— Romans 15:4
May you find blessings in this Advent journey!
1Sunday, November 28, 2021
ADVENT - ADVENTURE
The words look a lot alike. How do they relate? Advent: Something or someone is coming. Adventure: What turns an event into an adventure? We are moving toward something. Our Advent becomes an adventure.
What constitutes an adventure?
EXCITEMENT: exploring outside our comfort zone onto an unknown path.
QUEST: not wandering; seeking something.
RISK: not knowing what may happen.
TRANSFORMATION: allowing the adventure to do something to us. Let's decide to intentionally experience this Advent as an Adventure quest for a face-to-face encounter with the King. Starting now!
Rev. Dr. Ann Paton
(Walt Baughman’s aunt)