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There is something quite comfortable about patterns. When things happen the same way, we know what to expect. Most of us pattern our days by waking at a certain time, then working, eating, and resting at certain times. Many of us pattern our weeks with days that we work, a day of worship, and a day of rest. There is even a pattern to the year—Springtime and Harvest, the change of seasons, the heat of summer, the bitter cold of winter. The birthdays and anniversaries of our loved ones come around at the same time ever year. Those special times of the year such as Easter, Pentecost, Advent, and the approaching Christmastime all pattern our year into something recognizable and comfortable.

I want to add that the safety and strength that come from the comfort of these patterns should not make us complacent, but should instead serve as a foundation from which we can stretch ourselves to try new and sometimes uncomfortable things.

Yesterday we began the season of Advent—a time of longing and expectation. We look forward to the coming Christmas season while we remember the longing that God’s people had for a Messiah. During this season we also recognize our longing for a time when Christ will return to restore everything, and to truly be the one who rules over all. Advent is a season of beginnings.

I recently came across an article from a church newsletter that does a really good job illustrating the importance of the Church calendar. You can read it here. Especially for those who like visuals, this article helps us envision the pattern of the year as it relates to the Church.

The Hanging of the Greens last night was a great time of work, fellowship, food, fun, and worship. Seeing the building decorated for this season helps prepare our hearts for worship. Janel Metzger did a great job with the young people as they retold the precious story of Jesus’ birth once again. Thanks to Mollie Hilt, Hannah Lee, and the entire decorating committee for the planning. Thanks to the Janice Risser, Jayne Shindel, Tracey Rennie, Diana, Quincy, and Samantha Boschulte, and Betty Zook. Thanks to everyone who came out to help!

Josanne and I love you all, and are excited to spend this special season with you.

God bless, Brian

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