A letter from our Pastor

 

Soon the season of Advent will be upon us. During Advent, we find ourselves remembering the ancient prophecies that predicted the coming of the Messiah. This is the season of expectant waiting and preparation, a time when we remember the First Coming of Jesus Christ and look forward with anticipation to the Second. Advent is a season of looking forward and waiting for something greater, something God-given and wonderful.

 

The world around us treats this time of year as a time to hurry and get ready for Christmas. Each year, it seems, the stores and malls begin playing Christmas music and setting up their Christmas displays earlier than ever. Then there is the pressure we put on ourselves to have the perfect holiday celebration. There are presents to buy, decorations to put in place, gatherings to attend, travel to be scheduled and errands to run. There is so much to do and time is running out. Hurry up...get busy...Christmas is almost here!

 

As Christians, however, we are called to stand up in the face of the busyness of this season – the shopping, parties, cooking, traveling and decorating – and to say, “slow down, be still and be quiet.” We are to be watching and waiting and listening for the God who is always coming to us. For the Christian, Advent is to be a time for reflection and preparation. It is a season when we prepare our hearts, once again, to receive the King.

 

This is hard work, to be sure, especially during one of the busiest times of the year. But that’s probably why it is even more important that we attend to this matter of slowing down and waiting and watching. Silence is the key. Silence is a way of waiting, a way of watching, and a way of listening to what is going on within and around us.

 

Jesus certainly knew the benefit of silence and solitude. Many times we read in the Gospels of instances where Jesus, “went away by himself to pray.” The busyness of ministry was always tugging at Jesus’ time and attention. For this reason, he often separated himself from the crowds and all distractions and spent time alone with his Heavenly Father. His regular practice of silence and solitude, waiting and watching renewed him and strengthened him for the times of busyness he had to endure.

 

I wonder what we could discover if, this Advent, we followed the practice of our Lord and took five minutes, ten minutes, thirty minutes each day to just sit in silence and stillness waiting and watching? What joys would God reveal to us? What words would He speak to our hearts?

 

I pray that this Advent season would be a blessing for you and those you love and that you would find time to be alone with God. I also pray that the hope, joy, peace and love that is Christmas would abide in your home now and always.

 

From our family to yours...Merry Christmas!

Pastor Bruce