Dear Family of God,
The season of Advent is upon us. It is a time of waiting and anticipation to celebrate the birth of our Lord, and the expectant waiting in hope of the second coming of Christ. Advent is a time of slowing down, quieting our hearts and minds, and focusing on the One who has come, is present with us, and is to come again.
Over the last few years, our lives have been radically changed, and so often, it feels as if we are in a never-ending game of waiting and adapting. In 2020, we waited in anticipation of coming out of lock down, receiving vaccines, hearing that the amount of new COVID cases had dwindled, when we would be able to have gatherings with family and friends again. And we longed for and waited in hope that we just might experience a bit of “normalcy” once again. In 2021, we waited in anticipation of what was yet to come as a new variant of COVID came about causing the numbers to re-surge and recognizing that COVID was not going to be leaving us any time soon.
For many of us and our faith communities, these past few years have been some of the most difficult and challenging times in our lives. During these times, we have become more aware of the grief and loss that many of us are experiencing. Our lives have been greatly interrupted in many ways. And it has been hard for all of us.
Amid all of this, we recognized the need to adapt and find new ways of exercising our faith and living in community with one another. Even though I was not with you in the beginning of this pandemic, I have heard of and witnessed the faithful acts of FRCB during this time of waiting and hoping– how you have cared for one another, the profound acts of love and kindness extended to those in the community, and the creative ingenuity of parking lot and online worship services that took place so that God’s Word could continually light the way for His people. Out of all of this, new life has emerged and will continue to do so as we creatively embrace new ways of being the Church.
Sometimes it is hard to see the good and find hope amid all the despair. But we can find comfort and hope in the words from John’s Gospel, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5). Because the light of the world – the Christ child -- came into the world many centuries ago, we can continue to wait in hope of the promise of what is yet to come-the reign of a new kingdom!
The best part of this is that Christ invites us to participate in the work of this new kingdom that is being established. So, in every act of love and kindness that we show to each other and all those who we meet, the light of Christ shines brightly among us!
Family of God, live as people of hope and go forth into the Christmas season to proclaim the good news that the Christ child-the Light of the World-has been born! And live in the comfort and hope that “the light shall not be overcome by the darkness.”
May you all be filled with the wonder and amazement of the Advent and Christmas season!
In Christ’s love,