Nothing puts the Christian church at odds with contemporary culture more than Advent. The holiday season consists of bright lights and packages tied with neat bows. There's certainly no room for darkness and little patience for prayerful expectations when holiday carols blare from every speaker and the neighborhood grows more Griswold-like every day.
Yet ironically, the experience of being out of sync with our surroundings may attune us more deeply to the nature of Advent. In Advent, we live in the unsettling tension between what is and what will be. We enter sanctuary doors to read passages and sing songs that remind us that God has God's own timing, priorities and promises.
We'll start Advent this year by taking a look at a hopeful, if somewhat enigmatic,
passage from the prophet Jeremiah. We'll light Advent candles and sing lovely Advent songs, enjoy marvelous music and celebrate a baptism. It will give us a great start on this journey toward the light.
Fortunately, at Covenant, we're far from puritanical about it. In fact, we sometimes conflate spiritual values with worldly priorities toward positive purposes, such as this week with the Alternative Gift Market.
You can click here to see an array of gift possibilities that also benefit our mission partners. Of all the gifts I've given and received over the years, these are often the most valued. The market will be open Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
I look forward to seeing you this weekend.
PS - I hope you'll subscribe to our Advent devotional series. Beginning this weekend, you'll receive daily reflections from Covenant ministers, staff and friends.
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Worship Services this Sunday (click for bulletins)