As we're in the initial days of Advent, let us reflect on these things:
But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the 'Son of Man' coming in clouds with great power and glory ... But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come . . . in the evening, or at midnight, or at dawn. Keep awake. (Mark 13: 24-26, 32, 33, 25, 37 NRSV)
Such amazing things happen to herald the return of the Son of Man: Christ, coming in the cloud ... the sun grows dark ... the moon doesn't shine ... and stars fall from the heavens. Mark paints a different picture than the birth in a manger coming of the Son of Man 2000 plus years ago: ... with angels singing of God's glory and Peace on earth. . . with the single star guiding the way to the manger ... with shepherds and wise men-rich and poor-coming to worship.
In these weeks following the election of Donald Trump, millions of people who supported Hillary Clinton find themselves in a land of darkness and dread. By the same measure, had Hillary Clinton won, the same might be said of people who supported Trump. We are in a political and cultural time of waiting and watching - a hopeful time for some, a time of dread for others. Such is politics in our democracy. When has there been a time when this was not the case? Whatever hopes and dreams we have for our own lives and for the country, scripture reminds us that there is only one kind of hope that counts; there is only one dream that counts. It is the hope of Christ coming and it is God's dream for God's people. That is an easy thing to forget in the heat of a presidential election and maybe this is the very time we need to remember.
In this Advent season, the leaves have mostly fallen and the nights are longer now; in this season when the past has fled and we are left waiting, praying, and hoping-we pray that God will shelter us - that God will be our Light in the gathering darkness, that God will be the fertile soil out of which hope grows like a seed in the spring. May our worship these Sundays of Advent help us to greet the dawn and to await God's purpose; may it prepare us to work for God's purpose.
And so, we wait and stay alert, watching for the coming of Jesus. And we light a candle in preparation for that glorious day.
... and even if the sun should grow darkly
... and even if the moon refused to shine
... even if the stars should fall from the sky
We will have Jesus, the Light of the World, to shine brightly in our hearts, illuminating our way.
And the congregation replied: Come, Lord Jesus. Come.
The Vision at Grace
our surrounding community, spiritually and physically, while
outward with God's love and intentionally
all in the name of Christ.
THIS Sunday, December 4
Baby Dauterman Shower, immediately following worship, Grace Cafe
Church Council Meeting, 6:30pm, Grace Cafe
HELP Ministry, 9am - 11am, Middle Parking Lot
Tuesday, December 13
Needles & Prayers, 7pm
Saturday, December 17
Rehearsal for Children's Christmas Pageant, 9:30am, Sanctuary
Sunday, December 18
Children's Christmas Pageant, 11am, Sanctuary
Farewell Celebration for Kate Hurst Floyd and Kyle Tau, Daisy and Samuel, immediately following worship, Grace Cafe
Saturday, December 24
Christmas Eve Worship, 5pm, Sanctuary
Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 - Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017
Grace office closed for Christmas and New Year's Holidays (The office reopens on Wed., Jan. 4, 2017.)
HELP US WELCOME BABY DAUTERMAN!
Join us THIS Sunday, December 4th, immediately following the service,for a baby shower honoring Calissa and Michael Dauterman. We will gather in the Grace Cafe to share in their joy and expectation, preparing for the arrival of a baby girl
Everyone is welcome! The Dautermans are registered at Target and with Amazon. Additional details: Sarah Brown or Shelly Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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