A Season of Preparation

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”Isaiah 9:6

As the calendar turns from October to November every year, my family begins the season of preparation. We have birthday parties, Thanksgiving gatherings, Christmas decorations, Christmas gatherings, school Christmas parties, getting together with friends, exchanging gifts, New Year’s Eve gatherings, and college football bowl games. Of course, this list does not include anything that is happening around the church. All of this requires preparation.

How do you prepare for Christmas? Advent is a season of preparation in the church as we await the coming of Christ. The word “advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” This word is a translation of the Greek word parousia. During Advent, we prepare for the coming of Christ – both as the baby in the manger and the Lord of Heaven and Earth. In our worship services, we will sing songs, light candles, and offer prayers as we prepare ourselves for this coming. How will you prepare yourself for Christmas – the celebration of “the child who is born unto us in a manger?”

Beginning December 1, we will kick off a new message series in our worship services titled And He Shall Be Called… Throughout this series, we will look at the different names and images of Christ as told to us through the prophet Isaiah – Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Immanuel. I hope you will plan to be with us in worship during this season of Advent.

Christmas is also an excellent time of year to invite someone to be with you in worship. Studies have shown that more people will accept your invitation to worship during this time of year. Will you commit to share your faith with one person this season and invite them to be with you in worship? You never know the difference that Christ can make in the life of someone else.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and Advent, and a Merry Christmas!

Grace and peace,
Matt

P.S. If you are looking for a daily devotional this Advent, I suggest Not Yet Christmas: It’s Time for Advent by JD Walt. It is available online at seedbed.com. It is an excellent devotional and I pray that you will be blessed through JD’s teaching.