Advent – Season of Waiting
With a rush the end of the Church calendar came last Sunday. We were quickly upon the end of November when it was just June three weeks ago. Or perhaps, my memory is not working so well, but time has seemed to pass far too quickly this year. We celebrated the Reign of Christ, and with the sounding of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God we left the sanctuary, and the previous year behind us. Before you could sneeze three times we were into the madness of Hanging of the Greens. It was a whirlwind of havoc as we tried to find this and that, and make sure the right pieces were in the right place, and even stop to clean up a broken ornament or two. For the past few days the church has sat waiting for our return to earnestly begin our Advent worship services.
Advent is a season of waiting. Waiting is hard. It is difficult. It takes stamina. Just ask any of the children. I think we have lost a great deal of our ability to wait over the last few decades. We want our meals cooked faster, we want our television shows on demand, we want our ordered items in two days or less. We want it faster, right now even. In fact you are currently saying, “I want to be at the end of this article already.” Not only do we want it faster, we want it better, we want it bigger, and we even want at a cheaper cost. We are demanding. But this season of waiting is different.
Advent is a time for pause and reflection. It is a time for those of us whom have already met Christ to pause and take a moment to look where we still need Jesus in our lives. It is a time to reflect on a time when we did not fully know, or even know the Messiah. In this moment we also need to think beyond ourselves and look to world around us and see the many faces of those who are searching for Christ. Some who have peered at us and not seen it. Some who have never seen us, and may never. Some who we have gazed upon and mumbled to ourselves, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Peering beyond our carefully crafted veneer, we can see the truth that is out there. There is a world filled with hurting people that are looking for something, anything, to which they can cling. In this season through Christ we may offer hope, we offer peace, we may offer joy, we may offer love, we may offer Christ in his fullness.
We have finished with my long, rambling series “Why Christ” that was designed to inspire you to find the small things that can make a big difference for someone that is in need of knowing a sovereign God. It was meant to encourage you in taking steps towards building a relationship with someone else, and developing with them a story where Christ is present. It was supposed to move you past the fears of how to evangelize. I do not know if it worked. But, it also has lead us to this moment of “Waiting On Christ” where we will take time to once again reclaim the promises of the birth of Christ as we get “Ready”, get “Set”, and “Go”. We will look at what it means to reopen ourselves to coming of Christ. But, we will also see how this season can be used to help bring Christ to a broken and hurting world, how our friendship and true care and concern can make a difference.
I know waiting is hard, but you made it to the end of the article. I hope it was worth it.
In memory of Helen Carter-Nance: Rod & Thilerna French, Lloyd & Susan Bender, Jean, Joy, & John Pierson, Chuck & Anne Tennant, JoAnn Adams, Dan & Connie Murphy,.
Sherri Finke & granddaughter Amber came to help Calvin & Janet assemble, rubber-band & load the shoeboxes for delivery to Meadow Heights. Boxes sent numbered 112. Of that number there were 55 boxes from the Kunz's granddaughter Sarah & friends. That left 57 boxes donated from the congregation. Monitary donations made above & beyond the amount needed for members boxes totaled $754. This amount paid for 83.7 boxes; i.e. another 28.7 boxes above the original 55 we asked to you help cover. The national average received by Samaritan's Purse is $3 per box and shipping is now $9. THANKS YOU FUPC MEMBERS for your loving & generous spirit.
Many thanks to all who helped with Hanging of the Greens on December 26th. The church looks beautiful for this Advent Season & thanks for all the good food!
Dear FUPC: We are so grateful for the donation of @220.01 collected as part of our M & M fundraiser for the S.O.S. Soup Kitchen. We would not help the families of the Collinsville area without support like yours. The Soup Kitchen feeds on average 108 people a week, spending approximately $5.09 per meal plus an additional $1.59 for the sack lunch we send home with the patrons. This contribution fully qualifies as a charitable contribution as there were no goods so services received in exchange for the donation. Again, thank you for your donation. Yours in Christ, Dana Callahan
Dear Church Friends, Thanks for all of the good treats. I really appreciate you thinking of me. Your friend, Ike Morritz
I wanted to thank the church for my lovely care package. It means a lot to me that the church has sent me a care package because it shows that we are family and the church is always there for me. Thank you all again for all the little goodies. Love, Lauren Carter