“God is in His heaven,” the saying goes, “and all is right with the world.” I understand that the saying intends to convey how God is in control of everyday life, and I believe that truth beyond a shadow of a doubt. However, sometimes all does not seem right with our world, and we need God to come down from heaven to set things right.
Such is the essential message of Advent. This time before Christmas is designed to help us prepare our hearts and lives to receive God’s Presence in Jesus in ways that awaken in us a power that is capable of transforming this world into everything God created it to be, a transformation which is the full message of salvation. The good news of the Gospel is that in Jesus God moves into the ruined places of life and restores them to what He intended them to be. God moves into ruined souls and does the very same work.
This Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time when even in our waiting we as Jesus-followers begin this journey to renewal. It signals the beginning of an important movement on our part toward the Bethlehem manger, where the Hope of Glory was born for us and our salvation.
In the 9:00 service we will celebrate with the Hanging of the Green. That service will invite us to reflect upon the symbols of the season and how they represent the Christmas story. In the 11:00 service we’ll have our “Glorious” worship experience, which recounts the full story of God’s redemption in Jesus and the hope we have in him.
As we move from Thanksgiving toward Christmas, these coming Sundays will be filled with opportunities to prepare our hearts for Jesus to be born in us afresh and anew. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we begin our journey and commit ourselves to giving “Glory to the Newborn King.”