Pastor’s Monthly Blog / December 2016

Scott F. Wilson, Senior Pastor

  

Why Is This Season So Important?

Centuries ago, early believers came to understand the Christian life is

best understood and lived out when it is arranged into a series of patterns

and rhythms.

Taking a page from their Hebrew lessons, early Christians created the

church calendar as a way to organize the year, bring variety to spiritual

life, and enhance our personal understanding of the story of God in

Christ.

Through focal points and theological emphases, color and décor, rituals,

traditions, scriptures and practices, we Christians best live out our

faith in the context of a series of repeated and seasonal movements.

The seasons of the church year include:

  • Advent
  • Christmas
  • Epiphany
  • Lent
  • Easter 
  • Pentecost
  • Kingdomtide

 

Advent (the four weeks prior to Christmas) is the first season of the church year!  It is a time to spiritually and physically prepare and plan for the coming of God’s greatest gift, the Christ-child, and the celebrations that follow.

Here are a few ways to prepare:

  • Pray: Consider some classic prayers to guide you (Google the Prayer of St. Francis, the Prayer of St. Patrick or John’s Wesley’s Covenant Prayer for starters).
  • Reflect: Familiarize yourself again with the Christmas story in Luke chapters 1-2 and the prophecy of Isaiah 9: 1-7; look closely at a couple of hymns such as “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” or “In the Bleak Midwinter”; consider what those scriptures and hymns mean in your own life and for the world.
  • Give: Throughout the season find ways to “pay forward” God’s goodness in your life by putting your change in every Salvation Army kettle you encounter, or giving extra offerings to the church, or make an extra effort to participate in a local food drive.
  • Prepare: Assemble your thoughts and attitudes prior to coming worship each Sunday and Christmas Eve; in fact, prepare every day in Advent to be God’s person in your home, at work, at school.

 

Why is Advent so important? Because during these days we are challenged by the Holy Spirit to allow Him to enter into the deepest places of our cynicism and bitterness, and to visit the innermost parts of our lives where we have stopped believing that tomorrow can be better.

Advent is the time to ask God’s Spirit to:

  • Open us up.
  • And soften us up.
  • And turn our hearts in the direction of a crying baby in manger.
  • And help us watch for angels and shepherds.
  • And listen for sounds of celebration and joy.
  • And feel in our souls a new spirit that we’ve been longing for.

 

Have a blessed Advent and a Wonderful Christmas!

-Pastor Scott F. Wilson