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Worship Preview: Advent 1

Reflecting the Sacred: Sacred Time - The Gift of Hope Has Arrived.” Scriptures: Romans 13: 11-14 and Matthew 24: 36-44 with Rev. Christopher Eshelman preaching.

We begin the new year on the Christian calendar – Advent is here! We prepare ourselves for the arrival of Christ and we acknowledge that Christ is already here, God’s grace already surrounds us. As we said last week, we acknowledge that “in him we live and move and have our being.” The Christmas season is a time when the juxtaposition of the sacred and secular feels sometimes blatantly opposed, and sometimes quite blurred. The word “sacred” points to something dedicated as “holy” and “set apart.” This year, you are invited to a spiritual journey of seeing ALL things pregnant with the Holy. What could our experience of the Advent and Christmas season be like if we lived it imagining – recognizing - that everything is reflecting the sacred?

Last week we decorated the sanctuary. The shiny additions to our Advent and Christmas visuals remind us that we are called to reflect the sacred each and every day. “Incarnation” is a word that means that God’s presence came to dwell among all people and we believe this happened in a special way in the birth of Jesus. All creation has always been imbued with the Creator’s brilliance. This season we will remember the call to shine with this holy light. Now is the time. We watch, we anticipate, we make ready. We respond. Our task, as followers of Christ, is to reflect his light, his love, his grace at all times. We live in hope – because the gift of hope has arrived and been given to us. This year we will ponder these dual themes as we follow the journey of the magi and seek to let our lives be shaped, and reflect, the light of Christ. God with us!

No matter where you are on your journey of faith, you are invited to join in worship and celebration at 10:30am at 301 S. National, coming just as you are with your questions, doubts and hopes - and to experience the transformative, healing love and grace of Christ - which makes us whole. Visit www.firstumcfsks/newvisitors for more information on what to expect.

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