A message from the pastor

Freedom. Release. Rest. Comfort. Peace. Home. Rejoice. Savior.

Recurrent words in Advent hymns

Dear Friends in Christ,

Everyone loves Christmas Carols — at least almost everyone around church. They have terms like “O come all ye,” and “Joy to the World,” and “Holy Night.” Marvelous terms. Advent hymns involve expectation, preparation, and wonder. And they are filled with terms about liberation, resolution, redemption, and restoration. From Isaiah to Mark and more Advent sees a world under repair.

That’s because God sees a world in need of repair. From long ago to the present, as Jesus says, wars and rumors of wars impact us. As some say, Jesus was a refugee (when he went to Egypt to hide), so he understood the human condition. As we know, God is not finished yet, and neither are we. So Advent has all those words to set the standard and repeat the promise. Freedom. Peace. Counselor. Christ.

This Advent at NHCC we emphasize one theme on several levels: peace. Globally, spiritually, inter-personally, internally. This is the year to focus on peace, which we need in our families, communities, and nations. Likely we won’t resolve issues beyond our reach, but we can put them in our Christian context, and that is the best way to journey to the manger. That is what inspires our work for peace every year.

Each Sunday in Advent Confirmation class members will light candles for peace, and each Sunday we’ll hear from a member about their work for peace. (Kessely Hong on December 3rd, Anna McMahan on the 10th, and Ann Hulsing on the 17th.) Then we’ll hear from our Church School, too.

Our Advent Market is now complete (thank you so much), and now we’ll have baptisms, testimonies, a pageant in worship on the 17th, and two Christmas Eve worship services at 4:30 and 7:30 pm. Post covid we are re-claiming many of our traditions, as well as trying new practices. When John the Baptist said “Repent” over and over, the Greek word he used means “come to a new mind.” Some say, “go in a new direction.” See something new. So, knowing that our God is always doing a new thing, we’re imitating that this Advent. We’re repenting, so to speak.

Whether you are always around or on the road traveling a good bit this December I hope you get a full measure of all those words from all those hymns:  “Freedom. Release. Rest. Comfort. Peace. Home. Rejoice. Savior.” And as much as I pray that you get these, I pray that we share them with a world in need, which God so loved and loves, so that we keep coming back to follow God’s call. So, Advent blessings to you, and, see you in church.


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