As we near the end of the year, it is natural to look back and reflect. The Thanksgiving season we’ve just enjoyed has been a great time of remembering God’s provision and blessing.
Advent, on the other hand, invites us to consider how God has worked in the hard times of the past year. Advent is the season of waiting for Jesus, yearning for Him to come and fix this broken, messed up, dysfunctional world. Pick your crisis: job loss, having your character maligned, relationship problems, illness, shattering of a cherished dream, death of a loved one, broken friendships, or change in general. When we remember these things, do we not sing “O Come, O Come Immanuel” with a bit more longing in our voice? As we reflect on hard times, don’t we feel a little more deeply the lyrics of “Come thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free”?
This Advent, we will journey through the book of Ruth. It’s a story that begins with suffering, loss, and calamity. But through the story, we learn how God accomplishes extraordinary things through ordinary people. Ruth tells the story of how God works through His people to provide encouragement for the despairing, provision for the needy, hope for the future, and salvation for the lost.
Most relevant to this season, Ruth tells the story of the birth of a child who brings hope and joy. That child then has a long line of descendants; a line that culminates in the birth of another child: Christ. The ordinary people of the story of Ruth are all the progenitors of our extraordinary savior, Jesus Christ.
On Sundays Nov. 27, Dec. 4, and Dec. 11, you can join us for one of two worship services:
Our 9am worship service is a more informal service featuring a praise band and songs that you'll hear on Christian radio.
Our 11am worship service is a more formal service featuring organ, piano, vocal ensembles, and cherished hymns from the past.
Note that on Sunday Dec. 4, we will observe the sacrament of the Lord's Supper at both services.
On Sunday, Dec. 18, we will have one single worship service at 10 am. This service will feature the world premiere of our Music Director's new Christmas Cantata: "Journey to the Birth of Jesus."
Join us for inspiration and encouragement this Advent season, as we eagerly prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Photo Credit: The Advent theme photo is a detail of Jules Breton's The Song of the Lark, which is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. The photograph was taken by Russell Smith and is used with his permission. Learn more about the artist and the painting.