Leading With Hope
An Invitation To Christmas Services
By Meghan McClellan
In this advent season I’ve been dwelling on the themes of our 4 Sundays: hope, peace, joy, and love. It’s interesting to me that of all the themes we focus on in this advent season, hope is the only one that is not a fruit of the Spirit. I’ve always believed that the fruits of the Spirit were like little gifts given to us. Peace is a gift. Joy is a gift. Love is a gift. When we receive these gifts from the Holy Spirit, we’re then empowered to give these gifts back to the world by how we live. We show the peace, joy, and love of Jesus to this broken world.
Hope is not a fruit of the Spirit, but I believe it has a significant role in being the first thing we focus on in advent. Hope matters because our suffering matters. Before Jesus was born, the world waited in suffering for Jesus; for a king to rescue and save them. In the same way, we suffer in our own lives and wait in anticipation for restoration and for relief. We choose to hope through suffering.
We start the advent season with hope because hope doesn’t disappoint.
In Romans 5 it tells us to rejoice in our sufferings because it produces endurance, then it produces character, and finally it produces hope. Paul goes on: “This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
The hope that comes from our waiting, our suffering, and simply living life does not disappoint. Jesus does not disappoint.
So we start with hope.
We long for a day when there will be no more tears, no more disappointment, and no more suffering. We long for Jesus.
So we start this season with hope.
As we celebrate the themes of advent each week, let us keep hoping and looking towards the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. For he will surely not disappoint. He is the reason we celebrate this season. He is the reason we hope.
As we keep hoping and looking forward to the birth of Christ, there are many opportunities to celebrate here at ECC. I hope you will be able to worship with us for all, or some of these events coming up.
Sunday, December 18th at 10:30am: Children’s Program and telling of Luke 2 followed by a small reception.
Saturday, December 24th: Christmas Eve Services, both at 6pm and 9pm with carol singing, a short message, and concluding with a candlelight singing of “Silent Night.” Afterwards, enjoy some fellowship and light refreshments. We’ll also have a photobooth for documenting the evening with your family.
Sunday, December 25th: Merry Christmas! Join us for “Lessons and Carols” where we will be reading scripture and singing Christmas carols in a shortened service at 10:30am.