Gifts to buy. People to please. Halls to deck. Money to spend. These are a few of my not-so-favorite things.
And yet, it seems that the list of “things” in December keeps getting longer and more challenging to manage. Our lives can feel so disjointed and scattered—like Christmas lights through a rain-spotted window. Is it possible for our lives to feel whole and unified as we contemplate the One who came to bring peace, shalom, wholeness on earth?
Our hope during Advent at Exodus is that God would create in our everyday lives a greater passion for Christ, who came to earth as a baby, lived a perfect life, died on a cross, and raised from the dead to give us new life–in every aspect of our everyday lives. Rather than living with scattered, divided hearts, we want to live authentic lives of wholeness where we earnestly celebrate His first coming and eagerly anticipate His second. We want the worship of Jesus to bring a gravity to our lives that leads to order, wholeness and restoration in all aspects of our lives. We want the worship of Jesus to be more than simply a sentimental remembrance of His humble birth. We want the promise of His exalted return to unite our hearts in worship of the risen King.
So, here are some things that we will do during Advent at Exodus to remember His humble birth and look toward His exalted return.
- Advent Readings: Our international missions partners are reflected in the advent readings for each week, reminding us of the expectant waiting for Christ when He came the first time, and for our expectant waiting for his eventual return.
- Angel Tree: Our privilege this year is to help meet needs of children at North Belmont and Forest Heights Elementary Schools.
- International Offering: Throughout December, we are receiving international missions offerings for church planting in the Middle East, evangelism and discipleship in East Asia, and Echelon Africa. Prayerfully consider how you can be involved.
- Songs of the Savior: We will sing songs about Jesus during Advent. Some will be distinctly “Christmas” while others will simply celebrate Jesus as our Savior and Lord. We only have a few Sundays of the year when we can sing historic songs of Jesus’ birth. So we will.
- Christmas Eve Candlelight: Advent at Exodus will culminate in a night of singing, worship and celebration on Christmas Eve at 4:30 and 6:00 pm. I hope you will make plans to be with us for this special time.
Our hope is that we would wait expectantly for Jesus’ coming return, and while we wait, live everyday lives that obey and honor him and His work of grace in our lives. We pray that Advent at Exodus will help us do this. Please pray with us.