Church Blog

Advent: the beginning of our year

Did you know that New Years shows up about 5 weeks too late for Christians. Just like when we wake up in the morning, thinking we are starting a new day, we find that God has beat us to it. The Christian Church starts the year 4 Sundays before Christmas with a time that we call Advent or coming,a commemoration and rearranging based upon the birth of Jesus to be the King of everything.

While the grounds for Advent is the first coming, the hope is in the second coming. The time has historically been used to both reflect on what Jesus has done and to prepare our hearts and lives for his second in the rearranging of all things during Advent.

We celebrate Advent in our public worship services and in our homes with a the lighting of four candles. We will do this during our serves and encourage you to pick up a family Advent devotional at the back to use with your family and neighbors. The first candle reminds us that Jesus brought hope where we did not have it before. As we light the first candle together we rearrange our lives that have gotten out of balance based on hope. The second candle calls us to reenter the story of God’s love fully and finally proven to us in Jesus. The third candle celebrates the joy that is ours as the people of God, the joy we will only own in practice as we praise and pray. Finally, the last candle calls us to rearrange our lives towards the goal of peace for which Jesus came into the world – the summing up of all things, the removal of all grounds for alienation.

As your Pastor I am inviting you, church, to join with thousands of years of our believing ancestors and begin your year with Advent. Rearrange your hearts and your annual goals based on adding up Christmas rightly. Not by credit card receipts, but by the gifts of hope, love, joy and peace. Rearrange during the four week preparation so that we may worship fully together on Christmas Sunday as the gathered people of God in this place. Rearrange during Advent, worship on Christmas Sunday and just enjoy the feast on Christmas Day in honor of all that God has done by becoming a man in Jesus.

Serve Your Neighbor in your Vocation

We are saved only by grace through faith in the work of Jesus Christ. But then we are sent back into our callings to live out that faith.

In this great little article, Gene Veith celebrates the Protestant doctrine of vocation.


A personal liturgy of confession

Where is your struggle? Is it temper or bitterness? Sexual immorality? Amnesia toward God? Gluttony, laziness or greed? Judgmental words or thoughts? Gossip? Obsessive worrying? God welcomes all who are weary with sin.

A Personal Liturgy of Confession by David Powlison