That Week In Between

Advent has passed and Christmas has come and gone as we enter the week leading up to the New Year. After the anticipation and excitement of Christmas wanes, it's easy to grow melancholy and reflective during this week between Christmas and the New Year. This week in some ways parallels and extends the Advent we just celebrated. That in between- we hold on to Christ's promises of a renewed life, body and earth; however, are not there quite yet. We hope this week can be reflective of things you may have accomplished this past year and things to look forward to in the New Year, and that you will experience Christ's love for you in fresh and new ways that may be surprising, renewing or maybe

Advent: Angels

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” Luke 1:26-33 (ESV) Angels are as commonplace in the Christmas story as any of the other characters. Today, they are represented as ornaments, tree toppers, and find them hanging out in the nativity scene. We hear them on high, sweetly singing o'er the plains, and we join their choruses through the advent season. As a kid we had an angel suspended by fishing line hovering over the manger scene we got from Costco.

Advent: Peace

Peace. Peace is one of those words that feels like it has lost its deeper meaning in our culture. Two fingers are flashed during concerts, peace signs are turned into wall art and tie-dyed t-shirts, and Kip tells Napoleon, “Peace out” when leaving for Detroit. However, the kind of peace I think we long for is not only between races, nations, and political parties, but a deep sense of peace within our own warring hearts, minds and souls. A peace that the Bible refers to as “Shalom”. “According to Strong's Concordance 7965, Shalom means “completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitati

Advent: Faith

Ben Franklin was known for many wise sayings. Here's one: "If you wish to guarantee success, choose with great care your grandfather." Only one person in all history had that option. In fact, Jesus had an eternity to plan his entrance. Surprise: he came as an Asian born baby, born in a borrowed cattle shed, and immediately escaped the terrorists as a refugee in Africa. It just so happens that about half the babies in the world today are born in Asia, and approximately half of the world's refugees are Africans fleeing poverty and violence in the hope of finding food and hospitality also. All the little baby boys in Bethlehem died for Jesus before he could die for them on the cross. If

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