In This Issue
- Weekly Message from Rev. Joanne Whitt
- Weekly Facebook Video
- Announcements & Upcoming Events
- Outreach Opportunities & Updates
Dear St. Luke family:
My midweek video on St. Luke’s Facebook page this week asked the question, “Why bother with Advent”? I’m still chewing on that subject. Advent means “to come” or “to arrive.” I read an article that suggests paying attention to three “comings” during Advent: The first coming of Jesus as an infant born in Bethlehem, his second coming at the end of time, and his coming to each of us in the meantime. That first coming is, of course, what we celebrate at Christmas. The second coming is when Christ returns at the end of time. In the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving that we pray during the Lord’s Supper, we respond to the prompt, “Great is the mystery of faith” with …
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
But frankly, the Second Coming isn’t a big focus for most Presbyterians. Presbyterians believe that the time of Christ’s coming can’t and shouldn’t be predicted, and so we are more focused on God’s healing presence and work here and now. So it’s that third coming that has me intrigued: Christ’s coming to each of us in the meantime. Now, there’s a worthy Advent focus. But … what does it mean, what does it look like for Christ to come into our lives, to come “afresh” into our lives? What does it look like for you?
A good place to start is seeing Advent as a time to slow down and remember the meaning of Christmas. What the Bible passages we read every year during Advent and Christmas tell us is that God loves God’s world so much that God came in human form to show us who God is, and what humanity can be. God came not in majesty and glory, but as a fragile infant born to ordinary nobodies in a backwater town. His birth was announced not to princes but to poor shepherds, and he was visited not by the High Priest from the Temple but by foreigners who practiced a foreign religion. And when that baby grew to be a man, he wasn’t a mighty warrior king, but a carpenter’s son who explained that loving God and loving our neighbors is more important that all the religious rules, more important than wealth or status or worldly power or anything else you can think of. So maybe Advent is a good time to recommit to our St. Luke mission statement: “To practice love by following Jesus.”
This Sunday, we’ll hear from John the Baptist. We think of him as famous, of course, but he was a nobody, too. And yet, the Word of God came to him. One message in that story might be that the Word of God could come to you, as well. And then what would you do?
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday, the Second Sunday of Advent, when we’ll celebrate the Lord’s Supper. A week from this Sunday, Mikki and Cole Tate (along with others) will provide special music, and on the 19th, the Sunday before Christmas, the choir will treat us to special Christmas music.
Grace and peace,