Friday, December 01 2023
“May he whose second Coming in power and great glory we await, make you steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, and constant in love” (Advent Blessing).
Advent is a season of faithful action, as we wait in joyful expectation for the coming of Christ in the world. As we heard in last week’s Gospel, we can look for Jesus in the oppressed of the world. We see Christ through caring for the sick, feeding the poor, and welcoming the stranger. We give thanks for all who gave to our Thanksgiving Baskets. To some of us, this year has had its share of difficult times and we ask the Lord to come into our hearts and sustain us. Please join us for Blue Christmas Healing on December 14th at 7 PM. To others, like the persecuted church of the first century, we just hope that God will help us endure to the end. Regardless of where we are right now, we know that our redeemer will come one day and put things right. Since we do not know when, we want to always be alert and ready. We come to church each Sunday to thank and give praise to God. In this Advent season, let us with steadfast faith, open our eyes and hearts to the coming of Jesus.
This Advent, let us keep awake, to see what really matters. In the words of Isaiah, “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down…we are the clay and you are the potter; we are the work of your hand.” Let us be clay in the potters hand on that day when the sky darkens, so that we might not fear that day, but be ready for it. Isaiah tells us that we will all fade like a leaf and wither like the grass. While we are here, let’s focus on the eternal, the things that shall not pass. Let us give testimony to the Gospel. Advent is a time when we wait for the revealing of Christ. Advent is a time of waiting and preparing. Advent is a time when we align our lives with the will of God.
Last week in my sermon, I spoke of bringing friends, family, and our community to all the wonderful events we have at this time of year at St. John’s. Please keep a holy Advent and plan to come to church these next four Sundays. Worship and prayer are what we all need to do in these troubling times as we prepare for the coming of Christ.
Our Advent calendar is a little different this year because Advent IV happens on Christmas Eve. We will have our Christmas Pageant rehearsal and the greening of the church on December 16th. On December 17th we will have a Rite I service at 8 AM and our Christmas Pageant at 10:00 AM. On Sunday December 24th we will have our Advent IV service at 9:00 AM. We will have Christmas Eve services on Sunday, December 24th at 4 PM, 7 PM, and 10 PM. Christmas morning service will be at 9 AM. I am so thankful for the dedicated folks at St. John’s that will be giving a little extra this year to make this happen.
This weekend, our youth group will be selling Christmas wreaths and flowers. Please contact Fr. Zach or Ford ASAP to reserve your wreath. Please join us on Tuesday, December 5th and 12th at 6 PM for Evening Prayer, supper, and our Advent program. Bishop Wolf will join us on December 9th at 9:00 AM for an Advent Retreat.
In Christ’s love,