Friday, December 23, 2011

Ending Advent

Advent is drawing to a close, and tomorrow night we will have our village's Christmas Eve service here at Grace.  I know that some people (maybe even some of my relatives) aren't as excited about Christmas Eve services as I am.  But I can't help it.  It is bringing our anticipation of Christmas to a climax and and close at the same time.  And it is doing so with the people I am called to shepherd--to be constantly leading to Jesus.  What a great opportunity!

Here in Cedarville, it is also a chance to share this time with the other churches and congregations in town.  We have a village where the all the churches' pastors in our Ministerial Association are committed to historic, orthodox, evangelical Christianity.  We have our differences over secondary stuff, but we choose not to let them keep us from celebrating our fundamental unity in the saving message about Jesus.  That means our Christmas' Eve is a celebration of shared faith as well--a good message to send to a larger community that thinks having different kinds of churches means we are against each other rather than on the same side!

We also will have guests with us--some local, some from far away.  It is a pleasure for me to meet new people at any time, but doing so at Christmas means we've shared something special already.  And while people may come from churches that use different worship music, or don't go to church at all, they will know the songs tomorrow night.  And it is my privilege to share the story once again of what Advent has meant--waiting, longing for the fulfillment of a promise.  The initial promise was kept on the first Christmas; the completion of the promise is what we still wait for.