Welcome to worship.
The 2017 Advent Season encompasses the four weeks before Christmas, beginning this weekend. It is our annual reminder that, in Jesus, God came near. The word “advent” means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’, and so we naturally think—in the Christmas season—of the birth of Jesus. But, the first advent also helps us look forward to the second advent of Jesus Christ. The Advent theme is not solely about the baby being born in Bethlehem, but also the risen Savior returning in glory. In Advent, we remember our Creator God coming as a man for the purpose of paying our sin penalty and setting us right with the Father. We also remember His promise to return and make a new heaven and a new earth.
One way of marking the progress of the Advent Season is by lighting Advent candles, and over the last several years we have celebrated that way. As you enter the sanctuary each week of Advent, you’ll see the Advent candles already lit, signaling the progress of the season. The ever-greater light will remind us of the ever-closer approach of our Savior, both at Bethlehem and in glory at the end of the age.
We will celebrate Advent this month, as well, with two special services. On December 9-10, our students will present “Felix Finds Christmas”. It will be a fun, family service with music and drama, something our whole church family will enjoy. On December 23-24, we will offer services which will include Christmas carols and a message for both children and adults. Though we will not have a Christmas Eve service this year, please invite friends and family to our Christmas services on Saturday, December 23, at 6 pm or to one of three offered on Sunday, December 24: 8:30 am, 10 am, or 11:30 am.
As the candle is lit during this first Advent weekend, let it be a powerful reminder that 2000+ years ago, as prophesied, Divinity took on humanity to restore man to God, and that He will return in glory at the end of the age!
Blessings! Pastor Art