By Pastor Mark McAdow
Kitty King introduced our children to the Latin term “Adventus” in her children’s message last Sunday (our first snowy Sunday of the winter season). It’s where we get our word Advent, which means “coming to” or “arrival.”

The Advent season kicks off the Christian year. Officially it’s the four Sundays before Christmas. Each week draws us one week closer to Christmas Day. The spirit of Advent is marked by expectation, anticipation, preparation and a longing to be closer to Jesus. It’s a time of preparing ourselves to celebrate Jesus’ first advent into our world and to anticipate His return as well. The themes of Advent include Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.

The Advent wreath helps us mark the four weeks of Advent. It is usually formed of greenery in a circle representing eternal life that never ends, with four candles around the circle designating the four Sundays of Advent. In the center we place a large white candle representing Jesus Christ. The other candles are usually purple or blue representing the royalty of Jesus. The third candle is often pink or rose-colored representing joy! We are blessed to have a beautiful Advent wreath on a stand in our sanctuary. Families will read scriptures every Sunday, light candles and share a prayer. It is always a special part of our Advent preparation. It begins this Sunday, Dec. 3, with Holy Communion.

We have provided Advent devotional books for your spiritual benefit in this season and an opportunity to bless the folks of Shepherd’s Cupboard with a “Reverse Advent Calendar” food box if you'd like. You can pick up your copy of the list this Sunday.

We’re looking forward to experiencing our Willow View children’s Christmas program, “Good News Ahead, the Signs of Christmas,” on Sunday evening, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. and our Willow View choir presentation, “The First Noel,” at 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 17. The Christmas Eve candlelight service will be at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, and we’ve added a New Year’s Eve watch night service at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31.

It is written in the book of the words of Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him'.” (Luke 3:4)  I trust you will prepare room in your heart once again this Advent to focus on Jesus, the Savior of the world, and our Savior and Lord, too!

Yours in Christ’s love,
Pastor Mark

Thanks to all of you who have made financial commitments to the Lord and Willow View in the New Year. Happy Advent!

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