Pastor Linda's Message Blog

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Pastor Linda

Connecting - December 2018


Life! Not Death

Come, Lord Jesus, come! It's Advent again. This is the season where we look forward to reliving the birth of Christ. This year, I feel a deeper need for Christmas and for the renewal of hope that it brings.

The scriptures of Advent begin in darkness with ominous warnings of destruction. Darkness fits this season of the year. Daylight Saving Time is over and December offers us precious few hours of light. With the early cold snap and the November blizzard narrowly missed, the twelfth month has settled in, cold and blustery.

Into their dark times, the Prophets speak to God's people with words of hope about the promised coming of a Savior who will be the Light to the nations. With forest fires ravaging California and the death count climbing, with immigrants at the southern border yearning for a home, with mass shootings an almost weekly occurrence, and with divisive national politics ... I plead: Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Then I remember: the world has forever been rising and falling; the wonder of Advent is that we begin to see differently. The Prophets of old said a child would be born to us, and we shall call him Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace (Is.9:6). The child is not about death and division, but life.

Jeremiah said a new branch was coming from the dead family tree of David. This branch would bring God's justice and righteousness to the world (Jer. 33:15). The child is not about death and division, but life.

God gave us his Son, birthing him into this messed-up world to show us the light, and to start the in-breaking of a new world order. The child is not about death and division, but life. And this new world order is one we are to help carry out.

Advent invites us to speak a word of hope to the world.

We see through the scriptures, in both testaments, that this world is not as God fully intends for it to be. We have messed it up. But God’s great, mysterious, and grace-filled love for this world and its people remains steadfast through all generations. That is the message of Christmas, not death and division but life.

So come revel in Advent. We really need it this year. Come find peace in the beauty of our Christmas-bedecked sanctuary. Find joy and wonder in the faces of our children as they share the Christmas story in their pageant on 12.9. Be inspired by our musicians and vocalists as they gift us their Cantata on 12.18.

The season culminates at the Christmas Eve candlelight service (4 PM). Sing the old carols peace on earth and good will to all, hear the story, and light a candle of hope.

Yes, come for Advent, because this year we really need it. Bring your family, your neighbors, and your friends because they need it too.

Pastor Linda

Looking toward Advent

a new branch from the (almost) dead tree

hope (iimage of a dove)

sharing a light from my candle to yours