_Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ,
When you come to church on December 4, you will notice some changes in our church. That is because on November 27, the season of Advent began. While January is the beginning of the secular calendar year, Advent is the beginning of the "church year." Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve, December 24.
The word "Advent" means "coming" or "arrival." We await the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and we look forward with anticipation to the return of Christ, the Second Advent. Now we live in the presence of our Lord and Savior who has come, is here, and will come again.
You will see in the front of the church the Advent wreath. It is a circular evergreen wreath with five candles, four around the wreath and one in the center. The circle of the wreath reminds us of God himself -our Heavenly Father’s eternity and endless love, which has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath signifies life, the eternal life we have through Jesus the Christ. The candles remind us of the light of God coming to us through the birth of Jesus. The four candles around the wreath represent the four Sundays of Advent and the center candle is called the Christ candle representing Christmas Day, the birthday of God’s Son, the Savior of the world!
As we join together for worship this Advent season, take some time to look around you. Look at the changes in the church. Look also at the person in front of you, the person in back of you, the person to your right and the person to your left. Shake their hands, smile at them ,welcome them in Christ’s love. Enjoy being in the presence of God and worshiping with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Through the Spirit of God, may the love of Christ and the love of one another change us, too, so that we can more and more reflect the light of Christ.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Wishing you a "life changing" Advent Season and a very Blessed Merry Christmas!
And All God’s Children Said,