“Signs of the Season: Putting Up the Tree with Jeremiah” – November 28, 2021 – copy

Rev. John Shaver

Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 9:30am
Livestream Worship

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On this Thanksgiving Saturday (writing on an airplane, so excuse any typos), I pray that you had a blessed Thanksgiving with your family and friends. As I went for a Thanksgiving Day run in North Carolina, I took some time to give thanks for the many blessings of 2021 and gave thanks for how our church family gives so generously 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. 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 listening for what God is sharing with us in the present. As we gather this Sunday and light the first candle, let us pay attention to the messages of hope that God has for each of us. Advent is a new year and an excellent 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, Merciful Guide of our days and the nights,
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations
for Advent and 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 uncertainty,
yet seeking the light.
To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!"
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 a.m. in the Chapel with Communion, 9:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary, and Livestream at 9:30 a.m. (also, on YouTube Channel throughout the week).

On this first Sunday of Advent, we'll begin a new series, The Signs Of The Season, and share in a special 9:30 a.m. Worship Hour as we combine our "Hanging Of The Greens" and First Sunday of Advent. There will be a special time for children and youth at this worship hour held outside.

Grace, Peace, and Gratitude,
John

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