The first week of Living Advent together, the invitation has been to “Hopeful Living”: We are reminded of our need for a judge – one with the authority, power, and goodness to set things right – and that Jesus is that Judge who came/comes/is coming to re-order the disorder in our lives and in our world. (Listen to Jordan’s personal take on Hopeful Living in the next video of our Living in Advent video series.)
The second week of Advent orients us toward “Prepared Living.” Our readings from Malachi and Luke recount prophecies of a messenger who comes ahead of the Lord to prepare the way for his arrival. This preparation involves readying the hearts of the people to receive and respond to their rightful ruler. This is a daunting task, for how does one prepare an entire nation for a revolution of heart, mind, and deed in keeping with the vision of the King? Perhaps that’s why Luke quotes Isaiah’s earthquake-like prophecy of leveled mountains and filled valleys (Luke 3:4-6). It’s another re-ordering on an expansive scale.
What needs to be reordered in your life to prepare your heart to receive and respond to Jesus?
These passages also point beyond ourselves. The paths are not only into our hearts; a vast plain is prepared so that all may have unobstructed access to the coming King. What part does Immanuel play in preparing the way for Jesus to come to Northern VA, joining our voices with the voice of John the Baptist?
These aren’t rhetorical questions. Let’s ask the Spirit to guide us to the answer, as we live His Story together, as we respond to the invitation to Prepared Living this Advent.
Life Together Updates
I have three details I want to bring to your attention this week:
· Parents’ Day Out: Please pray for this outreach event offered by our Seed Sowers team on Saturday, December 4, that families will experience the love of God and encounter the coming King.
· Pledge Cards: There will be another opportunity to offer your generous response to God’s generosity this Sunday during the service. For those not able to attend, please mail your pledge cards to the church office. It would be a great encouragement to have responses from the entire Immanuel family, communicating to God and each other our gratitude and commitment to the Lord’s future for Immanuel.
· Wearing Masks at Beville: As our time at Beville continues, I’ve noticed that we’re less consistent in wearing our masks, especially before and after the service. Please remember that for the care of others, and to honor our agreement with Beville, we need to wear our masks at all times while in the building. We may remove them when we’re eating/drinking during the fellowship time after the service.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday, in person and via livestream (the issue from the past two weeks has been resolved).
Your Pastor in Christ,