The Season of Advent: The God of Surprises
Embracing the mystery and beauty of a God who shows up in the places we least expect…
NOVEMBER 19* – First Sunday of Advent – We Know Not the Time – Mark 13:24-37
God is consistently a God of surprises. A God who defies our expectations and our black and white, either/or ideas. This is a God who shows up when we aren’t expecting it in places where we may not be looking. Where is God showing up in your own midst this season?
*When Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, churches will often celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent in the morning and celebrate Christmas Eve in the afternoon and evening, which makes it difficult to fully celebrate both. And this year we will be blessed by a special music worship service during the Season of Advent, so we’re starting Advent two weeks earlier than usual. This gives us the space to enjoy a more complete experience of the anticipation of the season and the birth of the Christ child. Enjoying a longer celebration of Advent has its roots in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, our ancestors in faith, where Advent traditionally begins on November 15 and lasts forty days (six weeks, the same as the Season of Lent).
NOVEMBER 26 – Second Sunday of Advent – In the Wilderness – Isaiah 40:1-11
This God of surprises has a knack for showing up right in the midst of our times of greatest struggle and suffering, making a way in the wilderness.
DECEMBER 3 – Third Sunday of Advent – Out of Nazareth – Luke 1:26-38
The last place people expected the presence of the incarnate God to show up was to a poor unmarried teenager in the working village of Nazareth. We do not always expect extraordinary things to come out of places that others have forsaken.
DECEMBER 10 – SPECIAL MUSIC SERVICE: CHRISTMAS CANTATA, special worship times: 9:30am, 11am, 6:30pm.
DECEMBER 17 – Fourth Sunday of Advent – Honoring the Lowly – Luke 1:46b-55
Pastor Karen Muntzing
God’s choosing of Mary tells us a story about the larger work of God. This is a God who delights in lifting up the vulnerable, weak, and powerless and giving them a powerful role in the story of redemption.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21 – Blue Christmas – Healing Service – 7pm, The Sanctuary
DECEMBER 24 – Christmas – The Ultimate Surprise – Luke 2:7-20
Who expected a baby? And yet, perhaps in the land of war torn strife, this was the only gift that could disarm and surprise people enough to let down their guard and receive it with vulnerability and joy.
CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP SCHEDULE
11am – Traditional, The Sanctuary
3:30pm – Family, The Sanctuary
5pm – Family, The Sanctuary
7pm – Contemporary, Warehouse 839
8:30pm – Contemporary, Warehouse 839
11pm – Traditional, The Sanctuary