Our Illuminate series celebrates the season of Advent: the weeks leading up to Christmas. The word “advent” is from the Latin word adventus which means “coming” or “arrival.” Just as the season of Lent prepares us to celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection, the season of Advent prepares us to celebrate Christ’s arrival in our world. Advent also reminds us to wait with eager expectation for Jesus’ second coming. One beautiful church tradition is the lighting of Advent candles which represent the themes of hope, peace, joy and love, and most of all remind us that Jesus is the light of the world. We want to illuminate our dark way with these truths: Jesus has come, and Jesus is coming again.
Jesus was born and we celebrate this fact because God loved the entire world. We also celebrate Christmas because God loves each one of us in a specific way. God so loves the world and God so loves you individually that he sent his son.
It’s WH tradition to share a story with coloring pages for kids on Christmas Eve. This year we hear about Jack the donkey’s special journey in The Promised Star. Download coloring pages for your kids (or yourself!) at the link below!
How do we experience joy in the midst of struggle and suffering? Jesus and the early church provide a model for such joy, a kind of joy that does not ignore the reality of the difficulties that we face, but that gives us the ability to see beyond those circumstances to embrace the promise that God is making all things right.
The story of the encounter between Mary the mother of Jesus and Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist offers a model for how we can bring peace in the midst of conflict. A plot twist that shifts the narrative from animosity to blessing. In this sermon, Osheta visits this story.
When Jesus was presented at the temple as a baby, Simeon saw the fulfillment of his hope for salvation. This weekend's sermon explores the nature of that hope, and challenges the common view that our hope is for an escape from the world.