We began our Advent series yesterday during worship. The title of the series is “The Best Presents.” We’re looking at the great gifts that God gives us, and that we can also share with others. The gifts God gives are limitless in their supply, so it’s not like we “run out” when we share it with others. God gives us hope, and we need to be people who share the message of hope with others. People need hope to get them through the day-to-day problems that we face. As Paul said, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us,” (Romans 8:18, NIV).
The sanctuary looks beautiful with all of the greenery and lights and decorations. A big THANK YOU to those who took the time and used their talents to decorate. These decorations help direct our thoughts in worship. I’m especially appreciative of all of the packages to represent the presents to go along with our theme. When you see them, think about the good gifts that God gives to us.
Remember that this is the season of giving help to those in need as well. We have several opportunities to help this year. Project Evergreen has started. This year they are back to accepting clothes as well as cash donations. You’ll see our “Reverse Advent Calendar” in this E-Gram. Next Sunday bring in the first week’s donations to put around our Giving Tree in the Fellowship Hall. These food donations will go to the Danvers Carlock Food Pantry. It’s a great way to share with those who need a little extra help this year. Until December 5th Josanne is accepting donations for those who’d like to help provide a Christmas meal for families affected by the flood earlier this year.
Remember that Steve Dennis is gathering interest for a work trip to Eastern Kentucky. Tentative dates are January 6-12. This is a great opportunity to be a hands-on help to those who have had an especially difficult time this year.
I want to encourage you to do two things this Advent season. First, find a way to be a blessing to others in this season. Take one of the suggestions above or come up with one of your own. Secondly, take some time to be quite and soak in the wonder of this season. When we were kids, this came naturally, but as we grow older we lose some of that. I hope you’ll try to recapture a bit of the specialness of this time of year.
May God richly bless you and yours in this season of Advent,
Scripture readings for next Sunday
Isaiah 9:1-7—How does the promise of peace match with the reality we see around us?
Luke 2:8-14—Where do you see the message of peace in the angels’ proclamation?
Philippians 4:4-9—What is the source of our peace according to this passage?
Psalm 85—What is this psalm teaching us about peace?