The classic hymn by John Wesley describes well the urgency and anticipation with which we at Parkview observe the season of Advent. He wrote:
Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King.
Born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.
Advent is a season of remembrance where we take the time to look back at the long-anticipated coming of Messiah, Jesus. We celebrate what theologians call the incarnation of Christ, the fact that God stepped out of heaven and took on flesh in the form of a baby who was named Jesus, one who would save people from their sins.
I hope you will join us as we journey back in time and capture all the wonder and amazement that accompanied that first Christmas. We use candles and readings to help us focus on the gifts that God gave to us in Christ: hope, peace, joy, and love. With everything that has happened in 2020, some of us may have to rediscover these gifts. To help us with that, we will be working through the various parts of the Christmas story in a sermon series aptly titled, Rediscover Christmas: Good News in Troubling Times.
But Advent is also a season of anticipation. We hang lights, we wrap gifts, we decorate trees, all in anticipation of Christmas Day. But for believers, these activities should serve a much bigger purpose. They remind us that we are to work for the glory of the kingdom in anticipation of Christ’s return. Just like the prophets pointed people to the First Advent, the church has been entrusted with the mission to point people to the Second Advent.
Our prayer is that you would plan on joining our Advent celebration every Sunday at 9:30 or 11:00 am. But even as importantly, we pray that you would invite others to come with you. We have provided a small tract that will make it easy for you to invite people to our Sunday Advent services as well as our special Christmas Night of Worship on December 6, and our Christmas Eve service on December 24. You can pick these tracts up in the Welcome Center. We have also provided an Advent Reading Plan for your use between the Sundays. There are hard copies available in the Welcome Center as well as a QR code that will link you to a downloadable digital copy for use on your mobile devices. You can also download a digital copy using the link below.
Please take some time to visit our Christmas at Parkview page, www.pbclc.com/christmas. Let’s prepare our hearts together for the wonder and anticipation of all that God has done and all that He will do. Merry Christmas!