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Established 1999
A Wesleyan-Anglican Church in Boise, Idaho

Reflections for Advent 1

December 7, 2018

As the season of Advent begins, each of may ask:  What do I expect?  Advent begins a new liturgical year full of possibilities to deepen our spiritual perspective and to draw closer to God.  The Advent season particularly invites us to awaken renewed hope in God's plan and promises.  The realization that God has been faithful in keeping his promises through history is meant to "stir up" in us renewed faith in the realization of God's promises that still lie in the future.  The Apostle Paul says as much in our epistle lesson for Sunday, when he tells the Philippians that "He who began a good work in you, will see it through to the day of completion."  The message here -- particularly relevant for Advent -- is that God finishes what God starts.  
 
Pope Benedict XVI once said:  "Man is alive so long as hope remains alive in his heart.  Men and women can be recognized by their expectations, and our moral and spiritual stature may be measured by what our hopes are."  Our Advent Lessons and Carols service Sunday evening will begin the the call for God's people to "take up longing once again."  This is a call to renewed hope.  Many may not realize it, but hope is actually considered a virtue in the history of the church.  It is something that can be cultivated in us by the help of the Holy Spirit, as we place our trust not in ourselves, but in the grace and help of the Holy Spirit.  
 
Hope, then, is not "wishful thinking."  It is a deep, abiding, reliance that because God has been faithful in history, God can be trusted to be faithful in the working out of our own messy histories.  To the degree that we make room in our hearts and order our lives to Christ, we will experience his birth as new life and new hope.  
 
Let us pray for one another, that we not be robbed of the transformative possibilities that Advent holds.  Let us enter into this new year with sanctified hope, expectations of miracles, divine surprises, and transformation.  Let us prepare well, that our joy may be complete when we receive our newborn King and celebrate his birth.
 
Pastor Thelander

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Theme Verse

Luke 1:78-79

Scripture Lessons

Aug 4: Ecclesiastes 1:12-14, 2:18-23, Psalm 49:1-11, Colossians 3:5-17, Luke 12:13-21

Jul 28: Genesis 18:20-33, Psalm 138, Colossians 2:6-15, Luke 11:1-13

Prayer Emphases

Nation: Jamaica

Denomination: Evangelical Free Church

Congregation: Saddleback Church, Anaheim, CA, and the Rev. Rick Warren

Ministry: Prison Fellowship International

Parishioners: Those living on Weaver Circle

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