Sunday, November 29 marks the beginning of the season of Advent. Advent is the season of the liturgical year when we prepare our lives to receive the birth of Christ fresh and new. Sadly we rush through Advent or we get consumed by all the stuff that we miss this beautiful time of the year. Advent should be wrapped up in this wonderful expectant hope for the birth of the greatest gift ever given. The gift that changed the world! It is a shame but preparing for Christmas becomes routine and baby Jesus becomes just another ornament that we put out every year and then hurriedly put away again right after Christmas. I shared that in my office there are nativity sets that stay out year round. The birth of Emmanuel is worth celebrating year round. Anyway, to help us anticipate this amazing gift our nativity at the front of the church will remain somewhat empty with only a few animals and a stable boy as we wait on the arrival of the Christ child. The shepherds are in the fields watching the sheep not knowing what is about the take place. Mary and Joseph are on the journey to Bethlehem and will be traveling around the sanctuary, make sure you look for them every Sunday. I had observed that the seasons of Advent and Christmas had become way to routine and we, the church, were not experiencing the gifts of Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and Christ; so as we make this journey this year it is my prayer all of us will once again receive these gifts not only on Sunday but every day during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. In order to help us build these expectations enjoy this father’s experience of making baby Jesus more than just an ornament. Thank you to the work of SkitGuys.com for this great thought provoking video.

As we continue this season of Advent look ahead for December 6th sermon by reading James 4:1-8 and consider the title of “Grace”.

Also please take note that we will celebrate one service at 10:45am on Sunday, December 13 as the Chancel Choir and the Praise Band lead us in worship with “Christmas Fantasia”. This is a wonderful opportunity to support our musicians as they have worked very hard to share this celebration of the birth of Christ!