Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas countdown: Advent

Advent is a word that means “arrival”, “coming” or “visit”.  The Christian season known as Advent helps us prepare for Christ at Christmas.  The Advent wreath is seen best by lighting the advent candles.

The first part for us is Hope … when the whole world seems to be against us, hope can appear to be really dim.  It is at these times that we often feel helpless and depressed.  Yet, we forget that even IF the whole world is against us (which often isn’t the case), God is still there for us.  He has promised to never leave us or forsake us, and will always be there for us no matter how bad we may have messed up.  We always have God given hope.

For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.

And his name will be the hope of all the world.

The next part of Advent is Peace … this is internal peace.  It does not depend on your circumstances.  You could be living in poverty, but still could experience peace.  You could be living in war-torn Iraq, but still could experience peace.  You may be persecuted, but still could be a bearer of peace.  You may be hated for your nationality, color or personality, but sill could experience the internal serenity of Christ.  The world cannot bring this peace to you.  Troops cannot protect this peace. It is a peace, offered to those who are meek, humble and pure in heart.  It is a peace offered to those who have an original innocence in them.

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Another part is Joy … biblical view of peace helps draw us near to God.  It enables us to trust him in the midst of a world so filled with brokenness and strife.  It also motivates us to be peacemakers, even when our notions of peace and our approaches to peacemaking seem naive to a jaded, worn out world.  Finally, the biblical picture of peace yet to come binds us together with other Christians in a fellowship of hope.

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,

The final part of our Advent is Love … the Bible tells us that it is because God loved the world so much that Jesus came. The angel tells Joseph that the baby to be born will be called "Emmanuel", "God with us." Because God loves us and came into the world to be with us, we must love and care for others. Jesus came to show us how to live that love.

John 3:16  NLT
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Psalm 36:7  NLT
How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.

Romans 13:10  NLT
Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

NOTE: much of this post was first shared in 2013

Please consider an END OF THE YEAR GIFT.  All gifts are tax deductible to The Community Fellowship and Dream Center, and thank you ahead of time for your generosity.  Mail your gift to PO Box 388, Collinsville, VA 24078 and choose general fund, Dream Center (homeless and feeding ministry) or Vision fund (completion of new campus).  You can also give online at

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