From the Pastor’s Desk
“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.” (Ephesians 5: 18-21)
As Paul sets out to compose this letter to the Church in Ephesus, his thoughts center on one thing; newness. Being found in Christ makes an individual new. He talks about being dead to God and then alive to God (the old condition vs. the new condition). He talks about the new man in Christ vs. the old man who was without Christ. He wants the disciples of Jesus Christ to be new. He calls them to put on the new man and to be renewed in the Spirit.
This might all sound a little confusing. It is simply telling the disciples in the Church in Ephesus that when Jesus Christ becomes a part of their lives and of their ministry, their lives and their ministry will be different. Christ makes all things new.
Do you remember having your first child? Do you remember the changes you had to make in your lifestyle? Think about what life was like before you had children and what life is like now. Isn’t it amazing how one life can make such a drastic difference in your life? Yes, it is.
Paul is saying that when Jesus Christ becomes a part of our lives things will be different; things will be new. And one of the things that will be new will be the ways in which Christians relate to God, and to one another.
Being filled with the Spirit will help Christians relate to one another in civil and joyous ways. Being filled with the Spirit will help Christians find peace and joy in their own lives. And, being filled with the Spirit will help Christians to find reason to give thanks in all things. Paul says that Christians will give thanks always for all things. And that’s not easy.
Give thanks for the gift of the Church of Jesus Christ. Give thanks for the ministry we have been doing together, and for the opportunities that we have to share our faith. Give thanks for the opportunities to worship and praise God that come our way every week. Give thanks for those who are members and friends within our congregation. And those who are leaders, give thanks that through your positions of leadership you have the opportunity to serve God. And above all, give thanks for Jesus Christ, God’s give of love to us and to the world. You see, there is reason to give thanks, in all things.
Time and time again, I have heard Christians say that they have nothing for which to be thankful. Open your eyes. Look at the gift of life given to us by God. Experience the offer of salvation that comes to us through the blood of the Lamb.
Think about the promise of eternal life. And then, for goodness sake, give thanks.
Advent is a season of hope-a time of “active waiting” for the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas. Advent means “coming.” As the Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of the messiah, so Jesus has told us of his second coming. We should wait in anticipation of his coming as the people of Israel longed for the promised Messiah. During this season, we:
• remember Jesus’ coming into the world.
• look forward to the celebration of Jesus’ presence among us at Christmas.
• hope for Jesus to come again.
On four Sundays of Advent we will light the advent candles as we wait for the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord.
• First Sunday Of Advent – The Candle Of LOVE
• Second Sunday Of Advent – The Candle Of HOPE,
• Third Sunday Of Advent – The Candle Of JOY
• Fourth Sunday Of Advent – The Candle Of PEACE
In God’s Service,