Ministry Updates for Monday, November 30th, 2020

  Considering Charity Gift Giving this Christmas? If you are looking for a charity to donate to this Christmas, please consider these FUMC Mission and Partnership Team recommendations:  Determined to Develop, UMCOR, Heifer International or the FUMC Mission and Partnership.  Details’ regarding their mission and how to donate is attached.  

Scripture – Isaiah 64:3

When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
                        you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.

  Reflection – Advent

Advent means ‘coming’. As Christians, advent is about the coming of Jesus. We see this ‘coming’ or Advent in several ways:

 As the birth of Jesus – For every person who has an impact on our lives, we want to know their ‘backstory’. What defines them is important to us. It is one of the reasons genealogy has become such a significant pursuit in our modern, transient world. Our sense of self is powerfully shaped by the stories and values of the people who went before us. Jesus’ ‘backstory’ is worth knowing because his story is our story. We are claimed by him like we are claimed by good parents, grandparents, and other significant influencers in our lives.

 As his coming into our present individual or communal lives – I don’t know if God is ever really absent, or if he is there, and we just aren’t paying attention. But either way, we hope for his arrival. Why would God come to us? For whatever needs we have that outstrip our capabilities. We need God to achieve in our world what humans cannot: political harmony, racial healing, and an end to such things as systemic oppression, domestic violence, hunger, and drug abuse, to name a few.

 As his final coming – This belief or idea is often filled with apocalyptic images such as people being ‘left behind’ or cast into hell. It can also be the idea of Jesus coming to take us home to heaven. The Bible also speaks of the coming of a new heaven and a new earth. Though many of these ideas are frightening or confusing, including something we know will happen to us, like death, their ultimate aim is to speak to God making things right in terms of an end to evil, corruption, suffering and death.

 Where do you find your focus as you read these descriptions of Advent? Where does God feel most absent in your life? If God showed up in some dimension of your life, where would you want it to be?

 Our Prayer

Lord of our past, present and future, as we enter this season of Advent, we do hope and pray for a fresh revelation of Your Spirit. We pray for our world in this pandemic. We pray for everyone wearied by the road before them. We pray for ourselves, that we might lift our eyes to heaven from time to time, being ever ready for a new blessing in our world. Amen.