The season of Advent is upon us once again as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. Hopefully, everyone has received their Advent devotional and enjoying them as well. This time of year, many get excited with everything going on. Consider all the cool things we are doing in December. We are hosting Santa again, there will be a children's Christmas program, Christmas ham is on the menu for the Free Community Dinner, and we look forward to seeing everybody at one of our three Christmas Eve Services! As a reminder, we will not be worshipping on Christmas day so that all our neighbors may celebrate with their families and friends.
Before moving on, I'd like to take a minute to give thanks for the time with our Music Director, Justin Murray. If you haven't heard, Justin accepted another position at First Monroe Presbyterian Church as their Music Director. Please pray for him as he takes the next step in his journey. Justin shared his talents with us, brought in friends to help us during a difficult time, and always brightened the room with how he played the piano. Thank you for your time and service at Marble, and may God continue to bless your ministry at your new church.
Now, Advent is a special time of year because of Jesus' birth and because we get to talk about the things surrounding his birth, like peace, hope, joy, and love. As we spend time each Sunday talking about how Jesus made these impossible things seem possible, we are tasked with ensuring the neighborhood knows about them, too. I found this quote from Mother Teresa that speaks to what Jesus asks of us and what we are trying to do here at Marble. Take some time to let this sink in this month. She said, "At this Christmas, when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the Advent season by loving and serving others with God's love and concern."
I mentioned earlier some things going on this month at the church, but we must also remember to reach our neighbors outside of the walls as well. As joyous as this season might be for some, don't forget some are struggling to get through it. 1 John 4:8 states, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
We need to not only share God's love, but we must show it. God sent Jesus to show us love, and he taught us if we believe, then nothing is impossible. Christ's death is important to all his followers, but his birth is just as big, which is why Advent is unique, too.
We have a lot to be thankful for and much more to come. God has blessed us these last few months, but we have just started to get things rolling! Thank you to everyone who has been a part of building up our neighborhood. May we continue to reach those neighbors we do not know yet and love them so that God may find a warm heart in all of us. Make this Advent season more noticeable by being "The Neighborhood Church," where people see that peace, hope, joy, and love are possible for all. Thank you, Lord!
Peace be with you.
Pastor Matt West