from the pastor’s desk
We begin a new church year, not with a countdown to Christmas, but with a season of hope for all the ways Jesus Christ comes into our lives. Advent always seems to be a confusing season for us, even though we live through it year after year. I guess we should be happy that the world around us places so much importance on the story of the birth of the Messiah, and we share our faith with family, friends and co-workers every time we retell the Christmas story. In Advent the church asks us to step away from the busy shopping and seemingly endless preparations for the perfect holiday experience. We watch and wait together for the rich promises of our gracious and loving God.
From Sundays and Seasons, 2015: “There is a profound sense in which Christ is always coming again and again, more and more, layer upon layer, both in his arrival and in our continuing expectation. Expectation and fulfillment are woven together, and the liturgical calendar witnesses to it in our worship practice. So the coming of Jesus is promised. The coming of Christ is prayed for. In a way, the Son of Man is always coming. Mark more than any other gospel illustrates the truth that everything is always in the middle of things, even the beginning and the end.”
That is why we start Advent reading about the end of time. Then we hear stories of how John the Baptist points to Jesus (the adult human) as the promised one. Then we get to hear about Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. Future, present and past are all described so that we can begin to understand our place in God’s continuing story of salvation. Let us gather together and give thanks for God’s wonderful gift to us!
Pastor David M. Byerly