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Advent Letter

Posted on Feb 29 , 2016 in Along the Way

Advent Letter

Advent/Christmas 2015
Some of us look for signs when we are trying to make a decision. “The Bible fell open to such-and-such a passage!” “My girlfriend dumped me!” “I got a raise!” “The biopsy showed it is malignant.” “There are wars and rumors of wars…”
How do we discern the times, and the signs of the times?
Prepare your minds for action! Be self-controlled! Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed! (1 Peter 1:13) And Jesus said, “Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” (Mark 13:33)
On a more mundane level, signs point the way. As I have learned my way to the church, the sign I most looked out for as I came up 88th was the right turn onto 116th. Now I know to turn there without looking at the sign. We filter out all of the information that we don’t need so that we can focus on the information that will get us to our destination.
Many of us are so flooded with information: signs; symbols; images; and sounds; that if God were to give us a sign it would have to be a significant one – or else we would likely miss it.
The God of mercy has given just such a sign. May we all have eyes to see it and hearts to perceive it.
“Come to Bethlehem to see him whose birth the angels sing. Come adore on bended knee Christ the Lord the newborn King.” (From ‘Angels We Have Heard On High’)
From the Prophet Isaiah, “…The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (7:14)
And from Matthew’s Gospel, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (1:22, 23)
The signs of all the Christmas trappings: the tinsel; the packages and the wrapping; the carols and the lights; the Crèche with the baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and the shepherds… all these are signs associated with The Sign, named Immanuel, which means God with us. God is with you and with me in the person of Jesus Christ. This is the good news we have to share. This is the heart of the celebration! And so let us keep the Feast of the 12 days of Christmas.
Gloria! In excelsis Deo!
Yours in Wonder,
Pastor Paul

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