Pastor's Paragraph—December 6, 2018
W.E. Sangster, noted British Methodist Minister, once described the Advent season as follows:
What is Advent? . . . It is the first gleam of Christmas; it is the promise of his [Christ’s] coming; it heralds the entrance of the Divine into human history; it is heaven descending to earth . . . It is as though a trumpeter had taken his stand upon the turrets of time and announced the coming of the King. “Get ready,” he seems to say. “Get ready. He is coming.”
Let me encourage you to be present for worship throughout the Advent season as we “get ready” to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Last Sunday (December 2) was the first Sunday of Advent. We: gathered for worship in our beautiful “decorated-for-Christmas” sanctuary (thank you Joye Smith and our Decorating Committee); lit the first Candle (the Candle of Hope) in our Advent wreath; sang hymns of Advent and Christmas; reflected on the message of “Christmas 2018: Some Assembly Required”; and welcomed three new members into our church family.
This Sunday we will light the second candle in our Advent Wreath (the Candle of Peace). We will focus on the role that Mary played during that first Christmas. The message based on Luke 1:26-28 is entitled “Mary: Seconding the Motion.” At the conclusion of the service, we will receive a special offering for the Calvary Christmas Project which this year will make “Christmas” possible for 130 families in need, including about 400 children. Our Sanctuary Choir will lead us during the worship service on December 16th, the third Sunday of Advent when we will light the Candle of Joy. This service provides a good opportunity for you to invite someone (or several someones) to come to church with you. The Christmas music shared by our gifted choir will be joyous, inspirational, and Christ-honoring.
Sunday December 23rd is the fourth Sunday of Advent this year. We will light the Candle of Love (completing the lighting of the outer circle in our Advent Wreath) which will signify that our preparation and “getting ready” to celebrate the gift of Christ Jesus coming to earth and entering our world should be nearly complete. During this service, we will also celebrate the baptisms of eight new Christians!
The highlight of Calvary’s Advent Season will be our Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion service beginning at 6:00 p.m. This for many of us is our favorite worship service of the year. Through the reading of the Christmas story from the Bible, the singing of Christmas hymns, the lighting of the Christ Candle – the center candle in our Advent Wreath, the celebration of communion, and the always meaningful Candle lighting tradition, we will put the finishing touches on our “getting ready” for Christmas 2018.
So come and celebrate the season of Advent with your church family. Come and give thanks for the birth of God’s Son.