“Have a Perfect Wonder-Filled Christmas”

Rev. John Shaver

Sunday, November 30, 2019 at 9:00am and 10:30am


On this Thanksgiving Friday, I pray that you are having a blessed time with your family and friends. As I went for a Thanksgiving Day run yesterday, I took some time to give thanks for the many blessings of 2019 and gave thanks for the way in which our church family gives through our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.

This Sunday, we will once again enter the season of Advent, a spiritual season filled with great opportunities to grow in our faith lives. I hope we can each take some time during the fast-paced next few weeks to slow down through prayer, devotion, and worship.

The word advent itself means “coming.” In modern times, Advent has become a time of preparing for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, a practice that looks to the past fulfillment of God’s promises. I hope this year we can look at Advent as more than just a time of remembering the stories of people of two thousand years ago and listen for what God is sharing with us in the present. As we gather this Sunday and light the first candle, let us pay attention for messages of hope that God has for each of us and the greater community. Advent is a new year and a wonderful opportunity for new beginnings!

Pause with me for a moment and let this prayer by Henri Nouwen speak to you as we come into a season of preparation, waiting, serving, and listening…


Lord Jesus,
Master of both the light and the darkness,
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”
Henri J.M. Nouwen

After a lot of fun, food, and sharing around the table (possibly some football, movies, and shopping) this weekend, I hope you’ll join us for a morning of renewal on Sunday as we enter this new Christian year together at 8, 9 or 10:30!

Grace and Peace,


PS Don’t forget to bring some food to share with our neighbors on Share the Table Sunday!

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