“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, be born again into our world. Wherever there is war in this world, wherever there is pain, wherever there is loneliness, wherever there is no hope, come, thou long-expected one, with healing in thy wings. Holy Child, whom the shepherds and the kings and the animals in the stable adored, be born again. Wherever there is boredom, wherever there is fear of failure, wherever there is temptation too strong to resist, wherever there is bitterness of heart, come, thou Blessed One, with healing in thy wings. Savior, be born in each of us as we raise our faces to thy face, not knowing fully who we are or who you are, knowing only that your love is beyond our knowing and that no other has the power to make us whole. Come, Lord Jesus, to each who longs for you and to each who may not even know how. Come quickly. Amen.”- Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark
It is the birth of hope to which the above prayer refers in its longing. Where there is pain, doubt, anxiety, fractured relationships, and too little time; we hope for God to be born anew in ways that grow our foundation of faith and action in the living of these days.
Our focus for the seasons of Advent and Christmas this year is Wonder. Is it still possible to be filled with wonder in a world of instantaneous information, with ongoing and senseless violence within our own borders, and wars among peoples around the world over differences in belief and religious systems? What form does wondering take in our lives? Can some of that wonder bring a renewed sense of new life, a humble recognition that God is still in-breaking into the world in unexpected ways, a re-affirmation that God has not and will not give up on God’s vision for our world and for all God’s people?
Come and walk with us in wonder over these next weeks that lead to the celebrations of life and light!
Our worship schedule includes the weekly lighting of our Advent Wreath, the singing together of Advent hymns and carols, anthems of the season performed by our bell choirs, instruments, children’s choirs and Celebration Choir, and the celebration of joy in God’s grace through communion and candlelight.
Please mark your calendars with the following opportunities to invite family and friends into the warm heart and welcome that is Grace!
Worship each weekend:
5:30 PM Saturday Weekly Worship and celebration of Holy Communion
8:00, 9:15, and 10:45 Sunday morning Traditional Worship
10:45 River of Life Contemporary Worship (Grace Gathering)
Note the following special services:
Sunday, December 17
9:15 and 10:45 Celebration Choir presents “I Sing Joy to All the World” Musical Cantata
5 PM Blue Christmas: A somber service of reflection, comfort and healing (Grace Gathering)
Saturday, December 23
5:30 PM “Christmas Eve Eve” Service of Candlelight and Communion (Celebration Center)
6 PM Birthday Party for Jesus (Grace Gathering)
Sunday, December 24
ONLY 9:15 AM worship (Celebration Center)
3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 PM Christmas Eve Services of Candlelight and Communion (Celebration Center)
6 PM River of Life Contemporary (Grace Gathering)
Join in wonder and celebration of God’s promise and new life!