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The Pastor's Pen - Dec 2022
From The Olive Branch Newsletter

Waiting for Christmas

Do you remember how hard it was to wait for Christmas morning when you were a child?

I remember how exciting it was to see the brightly wrapped presents under the Christmas tree many days before Christmas arrived. Bursting with curiosity, my sister and I would try to guess what each gift was. When our parents were not around, we would pick up the presents and shake them to see if they were clothes (ugh!) or toys (yay!). Each year we would beg to open our presents early, but our parents stood firm. They said, "No, you have to WAIT until Christmas."

Advent is a time of waiting. The Latin word Adventus is the translation of the Greek word Parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. Hence, there is a double purpose for the season of Advent. We not only celebrate the coming of Christ in the flesh at Bethlehem, but we also make ourselves alert to his anticipated Second Coming. In "Joy to the World" we sing in every heart prepare Him room. Well, that is the purpose of the Advent season.

At Olive Chapel on each Sunday of Advent in 2022 we will use an Advent Wreath to begin our worship time to-gether. Each Sunday we will light each of the four candles of Hope, Faith, Joy, and Peace, all in anticipation of Christ-mas. Then on Christmas Eve we will light the center candle, the Christ Candle, as we celebrate His arrival.

Waiting is not my favorite thing to do because it requires time and patience.

Yet waiting is good because I have learned that I must wait for the things that are most valuable in my life. When I was ten years old, I had to wait three months after I accepted Christ before I could get baptized. When I got engaged, I had to wait seven months before I got married. When Linda and I found out we were going to be parents. we had to wait for nine months to pass before we could greet our new addi-tion. It was worth the wait every time.

As you wait for Christmas this year, I pray that Advent 2022 will increase your love and longing for Christ in your life.

Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing!

Advent Blessings,
Pastor Randy