Posted by: pastordarren | November 1, 2010

From the Newsletter – Advent, Preparing for Christmas

The following is from Hampton Christian Church’s newsletter for November and December.

Late one evening in late September, I ran into the local K-mart after RENEW to pick up some things for the next day and saw something that made me stop and stare.  Next to the Halloween and fall displays, was a section that did not have shelving, but was filled with decorated Christmas trees and other Christmas decorations were being set up and available for sale.  My first thought was “I missed the whole month of October”.  Then I remembered that it really was just the end of September and that the stores (not just K-mart) are getting ready for Christmas earlier and earlier each year.  Another example of this is that there are several companies that have already released their Black Friday ads and some have even started their Black Friday sales a month early and we’ve been seeing TV commercials about sales and lay away programs for Christmas!

The stores are preparing for Christmas, their biggest sale time of the year so that they can get the biggest impact. 

The church too, has a time of preparation for Christmas and for some of the same reasons.  Advent is the time in the church where we begin our preparations for Christmas, the coming of Jesus as a baby.  Advent includes the four Sundays prior to Christmas day and this year begins on November 26th.  This is also the beginning of the Church Year.  Advent is the time to begin to prepare our hearts and lives for the recognition of the coming of Jesus.  We participate in different experiences, sing certain songs, read the Scriptures that talk of Jesus’ coming and generally begin to look at the world in a different manner.  We do this to get maximum impact from this holy day.

The focus of Advent, the church’s preparation, is not financial like the stores, but one that changes our heart, our mind and our world view.  Matthew 1:23 says, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.”  With the coming of Jesus, His ministry, death and resurrection, we can and should have a different out look on life, different focus on what is important and in reality a different way of living that takes into reality that God is with us.

At Hampton Christian Church, we will have several different opportunities that will help individuals, families, and the entire congregation to prepare for the birth of Jesus.  These will range from personal and family devotionals, to special services and special events at our regular services, as well as opportunities to serve and show God’s love.  Check the newsletter, bulletin and website for more information during the next two months.  I encourage everyone, wherever you may be, to find some way to participate in Advent in your local congregation and really prepare for “God with us.” and the difference that it makes today.

“May this Advent season bring us a new birth of hope in the ancient promises of God” (2010 Advent Calendar from Creative Communications)

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