Friday Note: Anticipating and Remembering

Advent is the season of anticipation - we know something great is coming, and we just wish it would get here already! In that spirit, here are a few great things I am anticipating this Sunday:

  • Melissa Hynson, who will be bringing a brief but wonderful testimony in all our worship services. Melissa joined this church as a member just over a year ago, and since then she has been a dedicated volunteer and champion for our church. She co-teaches our Disciple's Path small group that serves as our crash course in the basic commitments of "prayer, presence, gifts, service, and witness." She also volunteers regularly on Kid's Street, and in The Well worship service. She was also a member of the lunch time small group that I led this fall, and it was a response she gave in that group that made me say "You've got a witness that we need to hear in worship."
  • Eva Fountain, The Trautman Family, and The Brubacher family - Each of these will be lighting our advent wreath and offering our advent lesson at one of our worship services this Sunday. What a holy and beautiful moments that is each Sunday as we get closer and closer to welcoming the true Light of the world. Thank you to Mrs. Fountain, and the Trautmans, and the Brubachers for helping light the way!

Many of us find our way to Christmas by relying on memory. We spend much of Advent preparing special traditions or trying to recapture the feel of Christmases past. We watch favorite movies, and many of these movies - like, "The Christmas Story" pictured above - are themselves about memory and the past. Over time, some memories grow more precious, while others become challenging and painful with the changes of time. Our memories are incredibly powerful, they may even be able to speed up and slow down time.

The Bible tells us the story of man named Zechariah who discovered firsthand how God can change time. I think we all understand how God's grace can change the present and the future, but in Zechariah we discover that God even changes our past by transforming our memories. I hope you will join us on Sunday to make memories, to see new things, and to discover how God's memory can redeem and heal and glorify our own remembrances.

And if you don't know the story of Zechariah, here's a preview in the form of a new song that my wife Jennifer discovered this week

It turns out God's people have a real knack for discovering new ways to tell the old stories we remember. We'll do it again this Sunday. See you there!