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Winter 2020 Newsletter

The Bell Tower

Advent Greetings, one and all!

Advent is a season of waiting. OK, let’s stop right there. I can almost hear you, “More waiting?? That’s all we’ve done is wait!” You’re right about that. 2020 has been a whole year of waiting; waiting for restaurants and shops to open, waiting to get back to church, waiting to be able to get together with family and friends, waiting for COVID to go away. UGH! Enough waiting already. All of those things are still very uncertain, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight just yet, and so we wait without much hope of getting back to normal any time soon. This is all the more reason to embrace the waiting of Advent.

During this season, we wait and prepare for the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, and we await His return at the Second Coming. As we light our advent candles each week, we are reminded that our waiting is not in vain. During this season, we light the candle of Hope, reminding us that our hope is fulfilled in Jesus. Because of Jesus, we are not left in our sin; He came to take our sin to the cross and give us hope in the resurrection. We also light the candle of Peace, reminding us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. The next candle we light is the Joy candle because Jesus fills our hearts with joy. The Sunday before Christmas, we light the Love candle and acknowledge that God demonstrated His love for us by coming into the world in a baby; Emmanuel – God with us. On Christmas Eve we light the Christ candle to signify the end of darkness. Isaiah 9:2 tells us, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

Jesus is the light of the world; Jesus is the light in our darkness. I pray that during this Advent Season; this season of waiting, you will hold on to the hope, peace, joy and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Know that your waiting is not in vain. There are eternal rewards for your faithfulness. While our celebrations may be different this year, we still have a reason to celebrate. This year, more than ever, we are aware that Jesus is the reason for the season.

What better reason to celebrate than knowing that we get to spend eternity with our Lord. This year we will be celebrating like we’ve never celebrated before, so I pray that we will all do just that – celebrate like we’ve never celebrated before! Make this Christmas a time to self-reflect, as we’ve been talking about for the last few months, and make sure that your heart is right with Jesus. And remember, He came for you. More than 1600 years ago, St. Augustine of Hippo said this: “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Jesus loves you that much!

Have a Blessed Christmas!!

Rev. Tina

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