December 2010 Newsletter

Dear Friends in Christ,

In the gospel of Mark, we hear a word of warning and promise from our Lord. Jesus cautions his followers about approaching troubles and distress, but he also assures them that the Son of Man is coming to gather his people and bring hope and new life.

"But in those days, following the distress, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall down from the sky and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And He will send His angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens."
(Mark 13:24-27)

In this season of Advent, we focus on the coming of God's own Son. Our eyes look back two thousand years to the day when Jesus Christ came as a baby to the manger and our eyes look forward to the day when our Lord will come again in power and great glory. We yearn for the time when Christ will come and gather His elect of all ages and nations.

The celebration of Jesus' birth, the incarnation, Christ's coming in the flesh to be with us, proclaims a pivotal moment in the history of all creation. Just as precious, however, is the good news that our Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory to judge the earth, and to draw all his people together in a perfect kingdom of justice and peace. This transformational promise is one of our greatest hopes from God. Regretfully, some folks experience such a strong attachment to the story of the baby of Bethlehem, that they have lost interest in God's monumental promise that is yet to be fulfilled. Every Communion Sunday we declare together "Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again." Are we truly invested in the hope that we declare? Do we live our lives in expectant longing for this promised day?

Scripture tells us: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father...Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." (NIV Matthew 24:36-42)

Christ will come again. We have God's word on it. The timing remains a mystery, but the promise is sure. Are we ready if He comes today? Would you and I be ready if Christ came again right now?

The season of Advent challenges us to prepare, to be ready, to greet our Lord. May this be a season of devotion and renewal as we struggle to order our lives according to God's will. Let us watch and prepare for the coming of the Lord! Come, Lord Jesus! We long for you!

Yours in Christ's Service,

Rev. Peggy Ann Sauerhoff