The season of Advent calls us away from our naturally harried pace, and the frustration and cynicism that grow up around any unexamined self-focus in our lives. Advent is a two-sided celebration: one of remembrance & satisfaction and one of anticipation & yearning. It pushes us to look beyond ourselves and our daily grind.
This year, we mark Advent with a sermon series, gathered celebrations, and service. Our goal is not to fill your calendar, but provide space to serve, rejoice, and breathe.
Advent Sermon Series: The Incarnation and Place
Jesus became really and fully human...not just theoretically human. To be human is to be connected, relational, physically contextual and embedded. In the incarnation, the eternally existent, divine, and glorious Son of God became truly human, and so part of a particular cultural, historical, and religious moment. He submitted himself to life rooted in social, economic, and political realities. These things weren't just coincidental to the place he inhabited. They were essential, constituent parts of it. While he challenged many of the structures of his day, he did not live a life abstracted from them.
Along the way, we (christians and non-christians alike) have forgotten how to commit. Thinking we were aiming upward, we have become overly mobile. Our transience has become an inability to see, love, and live in a particular place. As a result, we are not affected and we do not affect our places the way we should. We need to recover a way of being as fully contextual, fully rooted...fully human.
Our own redemption and the ministry into which Jesus leads us do not make us less connected or less committed to our context. For the four Sundays of Advent, we will take break from our current series in Matthew's Gospel, and consider what it means to recover our being placed. What has the incarnation of Christ done to connect and root us? What does it look like to recover lives that are more human by being deeply "placed."
Advent Dinners: Sign up here, and plan to be part of our smaller weekend gatherings. Several Families have offered to open their homes, so that we can catch our breath together, reflect, sing, and eat together to celebrate the mystery and goodness of the Incarnation.
Christmas Eve: Mark your calendar and plan to join us for a joint Christmas Eve merriment with two other churches. We'll be with our friends at Intown Church and Bread & Wine. Time & Location details are coming soon, but we're planning to meet for an early evening service of carols & celebration at Warner Pacific College (SE Division & 68th).
During Advent this year, we have two opportunities to spend less time and money on ourselves and serve others:
Refugee Hygiene Kits: Medical Teams International needs hygiene kits for Syrian refugees entering Greece, and we want to see how many we can put together by December 17. The work is not hard, but the details are important. Get all the details & read more here.
Advent Conspiracy: Community of Hope, a local transitional housing ministry with whom we've partnered in the past, could use our help financially. They're asking churches like us to consider concerted efforts among members to spend less on gifts for ourselves, and give more to those in need of assistance. Read more here.