As some of you are aware, this Lord’s Day marks the beginning of a season historically known as Advent. For many Christians throughout church history, Advent has served as a season of preparation and anticipation. After all, Advent season leads to Christmas and the celebration of Christ’s first “advent” or “coming.” Additionally, this season reminds us that we are still waiting for Christ’s second advent and the culmination of the promises of God. If you haven’t done so, I would encourage you to listen to our podcast (here) in which we introduce some of the foundational elements of Advent season.
There are a couple of items related to Advent that I want to make you aware of. First, Pastor Brett has organized the beginning of each Lord’s Day worship service leading up to Christmas around the lighting of Advent candles. These candles are one of the ways many Christians have prepared for the coming of Christ—the “Light of the world.” Please prioritize punctuality as this portion of our corporate worship will take place at the beginning of each service. These candles will culminate in a Christmas Eve service at FBP during which we will light the “Christ candle” and be ignited by the Christ candle in a candle light service.
Second, if you are physically able, I would like to invite you into a season of fasting throughout Advent. To borrow from another Christian, fasting has a unique way of making us conscious of our dependance on God. I know this may be new to many of you. For this reason, we are going to keep it simple and short. Every Monday, I plan on fasting from breakfast and lunch in order to spend less time eating the food that perishes and more time praying to the one who provides imperishable food. This means that I will eat dinner Sunday night and wait to eat again until dinner on Monday night. This allows for 24 hours in between the two meals. Also, consider taking the time you would typically spend eating and use it to pray to God. Please consider joining me in order to better prepare our hearts, minds, and bodies in preparation for the coming of Christ in prayer. If you are not able to fast entirely, consider other ways of abstaining from typical items in order to remind you of your ultimate need in Christ. For example, you can fast from specific pleasurable foods and/or beverages or activities.
Church family, there are many issues vying for our attention in 2020. As the year wraps up, it would be terribly easy to simply survive until this difficult year has ended. Instead, let’s use the conclusion of this year to reorient our hearts and minds to our only hope—the first and second advents of the Incarnate Son of God. Let’s spend this season remembering that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5).
Because He Came,