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Beginning of Advent 2023

The snow we got yesterday certainly makes us feel the changing of the season! Then the drop in temperature this morning makes it that much more clear. Thanksgiving is past, and now we look in anticipation toward our remembrance of the birth of the Messiah.

Our Advent theme this year is “the light shines in the darkness.” This phrase occurs in John 1:5 as he describes the coming of Jesus. Although John doesn’t give us the same kind of nativity story as Matthew or Luke, he does show us the importance of Jesus coming into the world. Jesus came to be the light in the darkness. This reminds me of the words of the prophet Isaiah that are often quoted during this season:

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned,” (Isaiah 9:2, NIV).

What I hope will be clear in this series is that Jesus came to bring hope, peace, joy, and love because those things were absent from our lives, not because we already had them. The time you need to kindle a light is when it’s dark and the time that the light is most needed is when it is at the darkest. Jesus brings hope to those who are without home. He brings peace in a time of war. He brings joy in a season of sorrow; and he brings love just in those places where hatred is the strongest.

I believe this will be an encouraging series. Take a moment to invite those around you who may not have a church home and who need to experience Christ’s love in this season.

God bless, Brian

Isaiah 64—How do you see hope depicted here? 1 Peter 1:3-12—How would you describe “living hope” here?

Psalm 80—What is the psalmist hoping for in this song?

Luke 1:67-80—How is hope described in this Zechariah’s song?


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