Church is not a code of ethics, set of standards, exclusive club.
Church is a way of life. Seasons help us find our way. The advent season is a time of preparation in which gifts abound all four weeks long. There will be invites, stockings, candy, and trinkets. All, which are secular expressions and gestures representative of the truest gifts: hope, love, joy, and peace. These are the weeks we celebrate in advent as we prepare for Christmas.
We recognize this when we live in fellowship with the Lord, learning to love as Jesus loved. This is easy to see in church, the lighting of each candle binds us in this deep faith. We are connected in preparation.
So, too, are we bound in fellowship and good will at that work party, in the exchange gift, with a holiday bonus, and more. When we open ourselves beyond the surface cynic and open our eyes to see God is all around us providing love and joy in these occasions. Peace and hope come too if we quiet ourselves to see the peaceful yard displays, the joy of a young boy’s face spotting Santa in the holiday parade!
I am blessed that my church is a living fellowship were we feed the community, shelter our neighbors, teach our children, care for our adults, gather as friends, support one another, and pray as believers!
Our church building space is a light in the storm, a refuge, a pantry, a nursery, a music academy, an adult day building, a craft store, a community kitchen, a funeral parlor, a wedding venue, complete with a baptismal fount and more.
More is its sanctuary, where the good words are spoken and sung, heard and absorbed, respected and appreciated. Here the good words are in action, inspiring, reminding, affirming our belief in Jesus and that he is still speaking through all of us.
Our church is pretty radical!
But, we are not in those walls all time round. We are in the community living with radical love, endless hope for the needy, joy at the rich abundance, and peace in knowing the season is approaching where it all began.
This is a season of preparation. Prepare for the birth of Jesus, another radical guy!