There is a word I have heard repeatedly of late in faith conversation circles that has me going...hmmm. The word is encourage. When I have heard it, for some reason I have found myself pondering why that word was used. In the context of conversation someone might say, “I am encouraged when I see so many kids come up for the children ’s sermon”. “My faith is encouraged when someone in need is provided for.” These thoughts and statements serve boosters of our faith, hope and love. But about this word encourage, I like it. I love it. But it is important to remember why, or what is giving us these moments of encouragement. We are encouraged, because the Holy Spirit is working. Through our senses we take in the world around us, and it is nothing less than the Spirit making pathways before us and within us, so we can lay claim to and share the glories of God. As people of faith, it is important for us to remember to ground all the good we give back to this world in the love of God made ever so present to us in Jesus Christ. In short, our being encouraged is the work of God. And we can never have too much of being encouraged can we? To use a word that may be more familiar to us in terms of faith, we can always use instances that provide us with hope. Having your faith encouraged is to experience hope, and having hope permits you to be encouraged time and time again …The season of Advent is upon us. Across four Sundays and three Wednesdays in December, let us gather together to celebrate again the promise of the coming of Jesus Christ into this world. Hear the words of God that gives way to the Word of God, that is Jesus Christ. Come and hear hope-filled/encouraging words for an exiled people through the book of Isaiah. Come and recall again, all of creation’s story of promise across the scriptures. In fact, come and share your story, because, you too are a part of the unfolding of God’s presence in this world! You too, like Isaiah can orient your heart and mind in hope and encouragement over despair and anguish. On Wednesday nights in Advent (December 5, 12 and 19 at 6:30), be a part of God’s ongoing conversation with us. You have something to share that someone else needs to hear. You have faith filled words and presence of encouragement for someone else to know. There is no better season than Advent to add to God’s beautiful narrative of love to this world in Jesus Christ. For more information on Wednesday Advent Services, see next page. Come and experience the encouragement and experience of the coming of Christ again…because it never gets old. Amen.
Your brother in Christ, Pastor Steve
Check out my blog at https://stevewinsor.blogspot.com
Stream music and playlists with SoundCloud and wow your visitors with your tunes.