Dear Friends in Christ,

Advent is upon us.  The Advent season begins on Sunday, November 30 with the first Sunday in Advent.  (This year we started Advent a little early, with a Mid-Week Advent service on Wednesday, November 23 at St. Paul.  We will continue to worship on Wednesdays with our partners from Kimballton.  Mid-Week worship at Bethlehem will be on Wednesday, December 17.  Our youth will be taking part in the service.)  Advent is the time where we prepare for and await the coming of Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus.


Advent is one of my favorite times of year.  We prepare for Christmas by decorating the house and church, putting up Christmas trees and lights.  We prepare for Christmas by sending Christmas cards and greetings.  There are Christmas parties and Christmas caroling and Christmas shopping.  All things that bring joy to our Advent season.


Yet, there are other ways of preparing for the coming of the Baby Jesus.  Traditionally, Advent was a season of repentance.  We prepared for Christmas by confessing our sins and trying to turn our lives around.  For the reason Jesus was born on Christmas was to bring forgiveness for our sins.  As the angel said to Joseph, “Mary will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Our confession and repentance prepares for the coming of a forgiver.


Advent is also a season of hope.  The birth of Jesus brought hope to the world.  The angel said to the shepherds, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”  The shepherds were afraid, until they saw the Baby Jesus in the manger.  There are still people who live in fear today.  When we proclaim the Good News that “Jesus is coming”, we say to those who are afraid that there is hope, the hope of Jesus.


Finally, Advent is a season of light.  December is the darkest month of the year, but Advent is filled with light. The streets and many houses are decorated with bright lights shining in the darkness.  The prophet Isaiah tells us, “the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.”  That great light is the light of Jesus, a light that shines in the darkness, a light that the darkness cannot overcome.  There are still people who walk in darkness.  There are still people who need the light of the Baby Jesus.


As you go about your busy holiday schedule, remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.  Jesus brings forgiveness.  Jesus brings hope.  Jesus brings light.  I hope you have a wonderful Advent season filled with joy.


Jesus is the reason for the season of Advent!!


Your friend in Christ, 


Pastor Ron.

I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15 )
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ. (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil 3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31 -34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor 5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21-22 )
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28 )
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16 )
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12 )
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a cha nnel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God ( Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected. (Phil. 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven ( Col 1:14). I have been adopted as God's child (Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
And so do you

Keep this bell ringing...pass it on

'The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you;
The LORD turn His face toward you
And give you peace..'
Numbers 6:24-26 C

 Thanks Mary Lou, for this Christmas Bell!