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Looking Toward the Light of the World

The Messenger
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By Pastor Melaina Trice

No one would dispute that this had been a very difficult time. There has been a great deal of loss. We have been navigating through a global pandemic. Teachers and students are charting through education safely in classrooms. For many, it has felt like a dark time of loss, grief, sickness, and societal division. Yet, as Christians we have hope. We look toward the Light of the World that shines the light of God’s love upon despair, grief, division, and worry by giving us hope, joy, peace, and love.

We are entering into the season of Advent. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus” that translates to “coming” or “visit.” The season of Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation for the coming of Christ. We prepare for an encounter with Christ, an encounter with healing, hope, comfort, unification, truth, peace, joy, and love. We prepare for an encounter with the Light of the World who shines light even in the dark places of our world and lives.

As we move towards Advent, worship too is looking towards the Light of the World.  On Sunday, November 7, All Saints Day will be observed. It is a time for us to lament and be comforted as we remember the saints that we have lost during this past year. We will also remember and celebrate the saints that have gone before us. We will be comforted by the light of Christ that was shone through the lives of the saints and be comforted by the Light of Christ in our grief.

The new sermon series, “Did the Bible Say That?” is a mythbuster style series that will look to the truth of God’s Word. There are clichés, phrases, and ways of thinking that have been thought to have been from the Bible, but we will find that they have not always pointed to the Light of the World even when well-intentioned, and they are not biblical at all. This sermon series will look to finding hope, peace, joy, and love through the truth of God’s Word that is full of grace, inclusion, community, and love.

Our Advent sermon series, The Light of the World, is inspired by the book with the same title by Amy Jill Levine, (also available as a bible study). This series looks at the coming of Christ from the lens of different perspectives such as Joseph, Mary, shepherds, angels, Caesar Augustus, Herod, Elizabeth, and more. We will also look at the testimonies to the Light of the World in the Old Testament. This series will include dramatic expressions to the many perspectives and testimonies that looked toward the Light of Christ.

Christmas Eve will be a celebration of the Light of the World in our midst. We will celebrate the hope fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ.  Family services will be at 2:30 and 4:00 pm and will be led by children and youth and feature a Christmas pageant that will be fun for the entire family. There will be two traditional services at 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm followed by a candlelight service with Communion at 11:00 pm.

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