"Advent: Anticipation, Administration and Appropriation," Jeremiah 33: 14--16; Pastor Richard Strode Sr
Thanksgiving is gone, Black Friday sales and holiday planning continues - and as we transition toward Christmas it seems that commercialism, materialism and selfish pleasures have overshadowed the true reasons for Christmas. The Advent seasonal worship, consisting of the four Sundays, preceding Christmas is a memory jogger to meditate on our blessings, His Word and to rededicate ourselves to be better Christians. The Advent themes: Hope, Joy, Peace and Love serve to encourage us grow our faith and help others along their faith journey. As we focus on "Hope", there is a faith lesson to be from the Old Testament Israelites who longed for a Messiah, the Savior who would deliver from their rebellion against God and the consequences of their sin. We need to spiritually prepare ourselves for Christ's second coming not as an infant but as the Son of God demanding an accounting of how we used our gifts, talents, testimony and witness to live a God-pleasing life. We are living in the "in-between times" of Christ's first coming and His next coming. Our faith experience reminds us that our hope in the Savior has been realized every time our prayers have been answered. Our hope for the reuniting with the Savior is that we will be found ready.