Welcome to Advent 2020
Prepare! Christ is Coming!!
Happy New Year from South Shore UMC!
You may be thinking, “It’s not New Year’s yet. We’ve barely gotten through Thanksgiving. The first Sunday in Advent (November 29th this year) marks the beginning of the new Christian year and the beginning of the season we know as Advent. During this time of preparation, we get ready for the coming of Jesus Christ into the world—again.
Advent is celebrated as a season of expectancy and joyful longing for the fulfillment of God’s promised reign, as we await the triumphant return of the One who has already come. When Jesus comes again, however, it will not be as a baby but as the Lord of all! The word advent means ‘arrival that has been awaited’ (especially of something extraordinary).
For Christians, Advent is the four Sundays that precede Christmas. It is meant to be a time of preparation, but not simply by buying or making presents, gathering with family and friends (which we can’t do that much of this year anyway), putting up festive decorations, or baking and cooking. In the church, it is meant to be a time of spiritual preparation that is exciting and joy-filled as we anticipate the celebration once again of all that Jesus’ birth means for us and all creation, not only historically but looking towards the future as well.
In Advent we prepare the way of the Lord. Our theme for engaging the season this year will be “Deck the Halls.” As we get our homes ‘decked out’ as festively as we can as a way of uplifting hearts and minds at the end of this difficult year, may we get our souls decked out in ways that will really matter in the long run. In addition to our opportunities for worship all conducted virtually, you are invited to join me in intentionally focusing on the disciplines of prayer and Bible study so that our hearts may prepare him room. Then, finally the glorious dawn breaks, shattering the darkness and the realization that the kingdom of God has come near: Immanuel, “God is with us.”
This is Advent. Prepare for the adventure that leads to the manger, but doesn’t stop there (for we know that the story continues to the cross and then the revelation of God’s saving love made clear by an empty tomb—events commemorated during the seasons of Lent and Easter in the Spring.) To assist you in your Advent preparation, consider taking part in one of our Bible studies. So begin the “new year” by allowing Christ to be born anew in you.
Alleluia! Rev. A. D. Reid