December Message from Rev. Coplin

Where has this year gone? It is cliche to say things like this, I know. But what can I say? Time marches on! Time waits for no one! At this time of year, we can become more sensitive to the movement of time. For my kids, Christmas morning cannot get here soon enough. As for me, it seems like only last Christmas that they were lap babies and helpless to unwrap their own presents. Alas, time flies. As Dr. Seuss muses, “How did it get so late so soon?”

I talked a bit about the movement of time during my last sermon. We saw that while the familiar calendar on the wall is essential to keeping pace with the daily/weekly/yearly cycles of life, the Church calendar draws us back to our big story: the movement of God in history. By pacing our year to the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost, we find ourselves again in the midst of God’s story of redemption of all Creation. So while that wall calendar fills up with so many worthwhile get-togethers and special events at this time of year, the Church calendar helps us to anchor all of these things in the hope of Advent: that Christ will come again.

A preacher I greatly admire named Fleming Rutledge writes, “In a very real sense, the Christian community lives in Advent all the time. It can be well be called the Time Between, because the people of God live in the time between the first coming of Christ, incognito in the stable of Bethlehem, and his second coming, in glory, to judge the living and the dead … Advent contains within itself the crucial balance of the now and the not-yet that our faith requires.”

When we gather in worship over the next three Sundays, we will again visit the stories of that first Advent, as the world first awaited the long-expected Jesus. We will experience anew these stories while living our now in a world aching for the not-yet: his final Advent, his long-expected return. Please check the “regular” calendar inside for our upcoming special events of the season. And I hope to see you in worship at 10:00. May God bless you this holiday season with peace and confidence in his faithfulness.

PS – One event you won’t find inside that is happening this Advent is the baptism of Carly Sparks in a special youth worship service on Wednesday night, 12/8! I am so excited to welcome her into the Church with song, scripture, and communion. This fruitful youth ministry has been faithfully tended every week by a few dedicated folks. We have need for a few more to serve their younger siblings. This is a real need and real opportunity to expand our ministry. If you are willing to commit a couple of hours per week (if only for a season), please contact me, Sarah O’Neal, or Nancy Spiller.

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