Hello, Hope Des Moines!
This past week, like many of you, our family put up our Christmas tree in the living room. Once the tree was up, we put a few gifts that had already been wrapped under it, and immediately our kids screamed and asked, "Can we open presents now!?" Of course it was a bit difficult to remind them that no, we've still got a whole month before that happens. But I don't think the struggle with waiting is just limited to kids - it's in all of us.
Whether it's a stoplight, a line at the grocery store or Christmas Day, the reality is,
we live in a culture of immediacy - of wanting things NOW, how we want them, when we want them.
Email and texts on our cell phones, music and movies "on-demand"...the list goes on and on.
And then along comes Advent.
This season of the church year that celebrates the four weeks leading up to the birth of our Savior on Christmas.
Advent comes from the Latin word
which means "coming." Years before Jesus came, waiting for the coming of Christ was much longer than four weeks.
It was literally centuries of longing, of patience, of prayer by God's people. Which is, in turn, the spirit of the season of Advent for us today.
Advent calls us to slow down, to stop, to learn to wait in joyful anticipation of Jesus coming as a baby, but also coming again in the last day.
Slow down. Stop. Learn to wait.
Which makes Advent more relevant than ever. Why? Because waiting, hoping, longing - they create time and space in our lives
to listen, to build our character and most importantly - to hear God's voice.
My challenge for you this Advent season: Slow down and prepare your heart for Christmas.
Maybe it's starting an Advent devotional for you or your family. Maybe it's taking a few minutes each day for extra prayer. Maybe it's making weekly worship a priority above all else each weekend this month.
Speaking of worship, this is a weekend you won't want to miss at Hope Des Moines! We'll
celebrate Holy Communion
I'm excited to preach on the meaning of Advent
I'll be announcing the awesome results of our Building 2 a Hope Beyond campaign
from November! Spoiler alert: You're an incredibly generous church! And because of it, I'll give you an update on where we're headed next as a church.
Bring your Bible and a friend who doesn't have a church home, and we'll see you this Saturday or Sunday!
P.S. It's never too late to start thinking about who you'll invite to
Christmas Eve services
! We've made sure there's plenty of room this year with services Saturday, Dec. 22; Sunday, Dec. 23; and Monday, Dec. 24. Mark your calendars today!