Pastor Denise’s Page for December

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Advent is my favorite season of the church year. ‘Advent’ means coming. It’s a season of anticipation and hope. A season when we eagerly wait for Jesus’ coming again. But also a season when we pay particular attention to Jesus’ incarnation in the world – both as a babe at Bethlehem and each day in our daily lives. We anticipate and hope for Jesus’ coming in the world. Do you see Jesus working in the world? Do you notice God’s work in your daily life – through people, through events, through the unexpected. That’s another thing I love about Advent – the unexpected. Jesus came in a most unexpected and vulnerable way when he was born to Mary and Joseph. And he says that his coming again will be just as unexpected – like a thief in the night. Our daily experiences of Jesus are also often unexpected and surprising. The Holy Spirit reveals God to us in ways we don’t usually expect. For me that’s the fun part of following Jesus. But it’s also the hard part. It’s fun because we never know what will happen – we can make all the plans in the world, but the Spirit leads us where ever God needs us to be. Like right here in South Milwaukee.

I don’t think I’d been in South Milwaukee more than 5 or 6 times before I received your call. A couple times to Grant Park for cross country meets. One time at Aurora South Shore. And for a funeral of someone from my previous congregation who grew up here. But now I know Jesus was preparing a place for me here with you. Jesus has come to both of us in unexpected ways – we’ve experienced our own ‘Advent of our Lord’. I’m also anticipating that God has great things in store for us that are yet to come. When we commit ourselves as a community of faith, as the Body of Christ, to the work of God’s Kingdom right here in South Milwaukee, we can indeed anticipate unexpected and hopeful incarnations of God’s presence. And we will be God’s presence for those who also eagerly await God’s coming in their lives. So let’s open our eyes, ears, minds, hearts and lives to the anticipation and hope of God’s incarnation in our lives and in the lives of others through us.

“But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.”  2 Peter 3:13

Blessings, Pastor Denise

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