Pastor's Note
A Message from Rev. Randy Moser, Senior Pastor

Rev. Randy Moser,
Senior Pastor
Time keeps marching on. Soon, many of us will plan to gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. Today I stare the December calendar in the face, and I consider all that those 31 days' worth of activities will bring. There will be parties. There will be meetings. There will be shopping. There will be planning worship services and a bible study, hoping that they will be meaningful. I'm just like the rest of you-how will it all get done?

And then I look at our church calendar. November 28th begins a new church year, as well as the season of Advent, when we are called to slow down and contemplate the gift of God's Son born as a baby. The word Advent comes from the Latin word meaning "coming". Therefore, this season is a preparation for coming: both for the coming of the Babe in the manger in Bethlehem, and also for Christ's promised and anticipated return as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Yes, Advent is a time of preparation, but we so often neglect this preparation as we rush headlong into our other Christmas preparation--shopping, decorating, and partying--that we fail to take time to stop and reflect on how the coming of the Baby, the one called God's Son, bumps up against the realities of the world, with all its violence, suffering, and injustice. I think that if we take that time, Advent has the potential to transform us. We realize that God is working among us as a community and within us as individuals in that community to change our lives and our world. As we live as a people in the space between the first and second coming of Christ, we celebrate both the time when God came into our midst as a child and the promise of his return again in the fullness of God's glory.

I found Julia Attaway's blog "Seeds of Devotion" had a list that I think is worth sharing, making Advent a season of devotion, more than decoration:

Make your list—not what you want, but consider what Jesus wants most from you—your time, your talent, your heart.

Make a plan—worry less about the Christmas tree and more about Christmas triage: prayer, charity, and worship. No one will suffer if more of your time is spent worshiping God and less wrapping presents.

Pump up the Spirit—find a bible verse for the month and meditate on it while you bake or decorate. Let this be your focus, instead of all those things that you haven't done yet.

Clean house—I mean your spiritual house. Pay attention to the corners you've overlooked and scrub away those dirty excuses. Confess and let God make your soul sparkle.

Remember why you do these things—Advent isn't about making people happy and manufacturing warm memories. But these things will happen when we focus ourselves on the real thing: preparing our hearts to greet our infant Lord and King of Kings.

Receive the gift of hope; receive the gift of peace. Receive these gifts that only Jesus can give. This is my prayer for all of you this season.

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