It is a special time of the year. The lights of Christmas ignite on this holy day of gratitude. Advent properly begins in Thanksgiving, and we journey with anticipation toward the greatest miracle in human time: The descent of God in human form, Messiah wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
C.S. Lewis calls the Incarnation of God the “the Grand Miracle,” the “central miracle asserted by Christians and the central event in the history of the Earth.” He says that every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this…. the central event in the history of the Earth and the epicenter of salvation history. And truly, it is! If the timeless God has entered into human time, in human form, all bets are off. If the Holy Creator God has taken on the flesh of His fallen human creation in order to redeem it, every other miracle must naturally follow. Nothing is impossible with God!
How fitting that our journey to Christmas begins in Thanksgiving! Oh that we might become people of Thanksgiving, living every day in the reality of the Incarnation of God, and the resurrection victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over darkness and death!
We pray that this Advent will be a faithful journey for each of us, entering richly into the meaning of the season, in penitence and holy benevolence. Our church services this month are designed to lead us closer to the manger, and thus closer to the cross.
Several items for your consideration:
- Hanging of the Greens. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30 & 31, from 9 a.m. till 12 p.m., those who are able will gather to green the church in Christmas decor, symbolizing the victory of God, light dawning in the darkness, life exploding death.
- Sundays of Advent. December 1, 8, 15 & 22. These services will encounter us with the Advent texts, declaring the promise and preparation for Christ’s Second Advent, even as we celebrate the meaning of the First Advent.
- Dedication Sunday. This Sunday past we dedicated our tithes and pledges to the Lord. Enclosed you will find the Prayer of Dedication — please read over it, pray it softly before the Lord. And if you did not receive a pledge letter and would like one, please reply to this email and request one.
- Bible Study: Please note that the Thursday Evening Bible Study is not in session during Advent. It will resume in the New Year, completing the Book of Galatians and then moving on in the Pauline Epistles.
- December Christmas Feast will follow Morning Worship on the 22nd. Come and share in the fellowship of grace!
- Christmas Eve Worship, Dec. 24th @ 6:00 p.m. LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS, a service of candlelight and carols, showing forth the reality of life in Jesus Christ, Word of God made flesh, come down from heaven to give life to the world.
Please take note these items, and please continue your prayers for the life and worship of Okeechobee Presbyterian Church. God has called us and chosen us, and ordained that we should bear much fruit, here in Okeechobee County and around the world. But we are sustained in our mission only in the obedience, faithfulness and prayers of each person. There is nothing greater than a humble prayer prayed in the secret place. For the Father who sees in secret rewards us in open, as many souls are strengthened in faith.
God bless you on this Thanksgiving! May it be, more than ever, the great Door for you into Advent, in faithful preparation for the coming of the King. Alleluia!
Sincerely yours in the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Pastor Loy Mershimer