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Thursday, December 3, 2020

Pastor Nelda’s Notes – Advent is a time of expectant waiting

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Advent is a time of expectant waiting, knowing fully the amazing gift God is about to deliver and yet, at the same time, a period of slowing down to embrace the season. {{more: continue …}}It?s an opportunity to set aside special moments to fully experience the joy and the miracle of Christmas, to focus on Christ?s birth in the midst of the chaos that covers our holiday to-do lists.
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The Advent wreath is the traditional centerpiece of the Christmas season. It symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western Church. On the Second Sunday of Advent, another purple (or blue) candle is lit to celebrate Peace, both the Prince of Peace himself and the promise of peace on Earth.
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Advent is not only a celebration of Christ?s first coming as a baby; it is also a reminder of Jesus? return that is yet to come. Just as God?s people awaited the first coming of the Messiah, His people now await the return of our Savior. The four weeks of Advent remind us of both of these comings. Advent helps us remember Jesus is coming again.
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“There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God?s angel stood among them and God?s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, ?Don?t be afraid. I?m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David?s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you?re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.? At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God?s praises:

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“Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.” (LUKE 2:8-14)
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?I?m telling you these things while I?m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I?m leaving you well and whole. That?s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don?t leave you the way you?re used to being left?feeling abandoned, bereft. So don?t be upset. Don?t be distraught. (JOHN 14:25-27)
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“Oh, May the God of hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” (ROMANS 15:13)

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“Peace on earth, good will toward men….”
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“I don’t now how, but I know WHO!”

See you on Sunday!

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Peace,

Pastor Nelda

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