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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Advent Day 8, Second Sunday

Today was a truly wonderful day in the life of our church. Families with small children lit the advent candles today and the kids were the main readers/prayers/lighter. It was very special and set a great tone for our day. We sang some gospel style Christmas songs and some traditional hymns and I felt like I experienced the broad range of Christian worship. We dedicated a darling little boy at the early service and he was an angel throughout. I preached on how God longs to meet us no matter where we are on our current journey. I spoke of the reality that sometimes the call that God issues us definitely asks us to journey to places that we’d much rather not go. Places where grief or sacrifice, or pain or fear dwell. But the reason that I can so confidently proclaim to you that God understands the complexity of our journeys is because God sent his son on the ultimate sojourn: To dwell among our grief and sacrifice, our pain and fear. Christ journeyed from his throne in heaven and joined us here on earth proving that he longs to meet us on our journey, to show us the way, to give us the strength to face each new day, empowering us to keep taking steps forward even when we feel we absolutely cannot go on. And that is why at advent we remember that God comes to us, to dwell with us, to journey with us, to go before us and beside us and behind us.

God longs to meet us on our journey, to walk with us, to guide us, to lead the way out of pain and darkness into comfort and light. But we must be willing to go where he asks us to go and trust that his knowledge of the whole pathway is enough for us to keep moving forward. The road may not a road we understand. It may require taking unsettling steps. At times it may push us to enter unfamiliar, scary, strange territory. It may even seem as if everything is coming apart at the seams. But when you go with God, you go with God’s peace and you go with the understanding that God not only accompanies you on the journey he dwells deeply within you. And that is what allows us to trust that when we can’t see, God does. When we feel weak, God remains all powerful. When we grow confused, God’s holy awareness guides us.

May you feel the indwelling presence of the living God as you travel on our journey.