Happy Friday Hope!
If you're new to Hope, one of the things it would be important for you to know about me is that I love movies. Every winter I get together with my buddy Dan and we spend four to five days watching every movie nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. While the goal is to watch the actual movie, our schedule includes time to be in the theater early enough that we will see all of the trailers of movies that are coming soon.
fans go crazy anytime the trailer is released for the latest chapter of that saga. This week my Twitter feed blew up with people excited about the trailer for the next Avengers movie.
In many ways the prophet Isaiah is a trailer for Christmas. Here's one of the verses we'll look at this weekend:
"She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us')." Isaiah 7:14
This trailer comes out 700 years before Jesus is born. Movie fans think they are patient if they have to wait seven months for their movie!
This weekend we begin Advent. It's a season of waiting; a season of expectation; a season where God gives us the faith to believe something good is "Coming Soon!"
There are a lot of good things coming soon at Hope.
Each year Hope takes part in an Advent Project. This year it's A Voice of Hope. Partnering with ChildVoice International, we're hoping to make a difference in the lives of children in violent and war-torn regions of Africa. You can give online or in the donation boxes at Hope.
Of course, it all leads to our celebrations of the birth of Jesus! At Hope Ankeny we'll have candlelight services Dec. 22 at 5:00 pm (followed by a meal), Dec. 23 at 3:00 & 5:00 pm.
"Let It Shine"
is the theme for Christmas Eve services in Wells Fargo Arena, Dec. 24 at 11:00 am and 2:00 & 5:00 pm. We've been experiencing a wave of God's Holy Spirit reviving our hearts and lives throughout the fall. Please be praying and reaching out to the people God places on your heart to invite to join you for Christmas Eve worship this year!
Wow! That's a lot (and there's more at other Hope campuses)! So take a deep breath, listen to Bing Crosby sing White Christmas, thank God for this season, and we'll see you around, Hope!