Monday, December 1, 2014

December 2014

The Coming of Our Lord

The Advent/Christmas season is upon us... and I love it! I know, I know, we can all complain about how commercial the season has become and about the store clerk’s politically correct “happy holiday” greeting. But none of this brings be down this time of year. I simply love this season. I am excited for the Advent Dinner and our sing along! I am excited for our Living Nativity! I can’t wait to shop for the giving tree! I mean, I am writing this article a week before Thanksgiving while listening to Christmas carols. I know it is early. But, I just can’t wait to start this season! Every year I can’t wait for this season to arrive!

“Arrival” is what Advent and Christmas are all about. During Advent we join the prophets as we anxiously anticipate the arrival of our Lord. At Christmas we sing with shepherds and angels at His coming. Our focus over the last few weeks has been the second coming of Christ, but as we move into the Advent / Christmas season, our focus shifts more to the first coming of Christ. However, the reality is that we are still in a place of waiting for Christ to return. Though we live in the age that the prophets anticipated, we still await the final return of Christ when He will set up His eternal kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth.

Christ does not leave us alone while wait His final return. In fact, Jesus comes to us with great regularity. I read a sermon about the second coming of Christ recently where the pastor pointed out that we aren’t really waiting for Christ’s second coming, but for his “umpteenth” coming. What he meant was that Christ comes to us all the time in His Word and in His sacraments. Though we do not see Him, Christ is present with us when His Word of forgiveness is preached into our ears. He is at work washing away sins in the waters of baptism. He is placing Himself in the bread and wine at the Lord’s Supper. He comes to us constantly while we await His final and ultimate return.

This Advent Season we will be focusing on the various ways Jesus comes to us in our lives. On Sunday mornings we will begin a series called “Come Down” where we will hear God’s promises concerning the first coming of Christ. We will be focusing on various prophecies given to the prophet Isaiah. Then, for our Wednesday midweek services, we will be learning about the ways in which Christ comes to us now in His Word and sacraments. Each week a different pastor will be here to preach about baptism, confession and absolution, or the Lord’s Supper. It is always a blessing to have other pastors from our circuit come and preach so be sure you join us at 7:15 on Wednesday nights this Advent season.

Finally, please be sure you join us for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. You will find a schedule for all the services in the newsletter. This is a wonderful time of year to invite people to church. I encourage you to let your friends and family know about our Christmas Eve service where they will hear about the only gift that matters, Jesus Christ.
Dear brothers and sisters, remember as we go through this busy season, the Lord Jesus has come for you. Merry Christmas! And may the words from Luther’s hymn “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” give you great joy this season:

This is the the Christ, our God Most High, 
Who hears your sad and bitter cry;
He will Himself your Savior be 
From all your sins to set you free! 
From Heaven Above to Earth I Come vs. 3

Pastor Bob

Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email