Advent is an important season in the life fo the church. This season speaks of our joyous anticipation and preparation for the coming of Christ. Our reflections should not simply recall the events leading up to the first Christmas; but should equally see us deeply preparing our hearts for the second coming of Christ.
Through the prophet Jeremiah the Lord counselled ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’. The formula for finding Jesus has always been the same, the earnest and sincere prayer of a humble and pure heart. This years theme of 'Hope is Born’ calls us to recall just who the baby in the manger truly was, and what He achieved on our behalf. It calls us as disciples to renew our understanding of, and trust in God's promises, to renew our understanding of the sure and certain hope that we have in Christ Jesus, and to fully trust in His faithfulness.
I pray that as we undertake our advent preparations this year that each of us may grow in our awareness of God's love for us; and draw closer to Him, rendering our hearts to His service and our lives to expectant and purposeful preparation.
In His service always,
“Change always starts with your mind. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act.” (Rick Warren)
It’s been said that no one likes change except a wet baby (and even then they cry during the process!). I’m not sure that people really do hate change, so much as they enjoy routines and familiarity; most people welcome new things in their everyday life, like new seasons, new cafe’s, new technology, new friends, and new adventures. In reality I think that it’s not change that people resist so much as being changed. It’s not that we don’t like change, we just don’t want to change. Our resistance to change, in the main, is simply because it can be hard: It’s uncomfortable, often humbling, and painfully difficult. But as disciples of Christ, we must remember that change is really at the heart of what it means to be a Christian. When we believe the gospel, we accept the truth that we need to change. We know we are broken people whom God is making new through Christ. Not only us as individuals, but we believe that one day God is going to make all things new.
The key to understanding and accepting change is in the knowledge that God is author of change and that he has plans for your life, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11); that he goes before us in all things (Deuteronomy 31:8), that he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6), and the that he will be with you when storms hit and the darkness of fear takes hold (Matthew 14:22-27).
So, here’s the bottom line for us as Disciples of Jesus: Discipleship has to be about more than just being comfortable! It has to be about striving, striving to be conformed and transformed into his likeness , and striving to live out his mission in the world.
Grace & peace,