But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. – Luke 1:7 (ESV)

As I type this letter, we have just returned from a wonderful Thanksgiving visit with our daughter Julia and her husband Andy in Greenville, South Carolina. Now I am trying to focus on the Christmas Season!

Our Daily Bread points out, “As Christmas approaches each year, we tend to spend a lot of our time preparing for the programs, presents, and parties. But do we spend as much time preparing our hearts?”

As we approach the Advent Season, we should prepare our hearts for it by waiting expectantly and preparing joyfully for Christ’s Second Coming! As Monica Brands from Our Daily Bread reminds us, “If Christmas is one of our most beloved holidays, it’s also a time when many people feel the most alone and afraid.”

Yet, Our Daily Bread reminds us, in the midst of winter, life comes from the barren places. This Christmas Season, as you prepare your hearts for worshipful living, my prayer is that you will reflect on these themes.

What kind of year has 2018 been for you? Where do you find barrenness in your life? How does the celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ help to bring life to your barren places?

We will begin Advent with our Sunday Morning Service of Worship this Sunday, December 2nd, followed by our Chrismon Service that evening. I look forward to worshipping our great God with you, as we reflect on his faithfulness to us over this past year, and look forward together to a New Year filled with the hope of the Gospel!

In Christ,
Pastor Jim

*Title from A Walk Through Advent, 31 Inspirational Readings, from Our Daily Bread Ministries

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