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Advent: Christmas Eve

When we light the candles of Advent, we get in touch with the love, joy, peace, and hope, of the gospel of Jesus.

Introduction

Happy Christmas!

Christmas is very much a thing at our church. You may be watching this on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day, or the Sunday after Christmas, but our tradition is to gather together to sing Christmas carols and read the Christmas story by candlelight.

This year, Christmas is less sentimental and more spiritual. Less about tradition and more about the tenacity of hope.

2020 was a year for the history books. And I can’t remember a Christmas in my lifetime where I was more in touch with the emotional architecture of advent.

Advent is from a Latin word, meaning “appearing” or “coming.” At Advent, we look back to Jesus’ first coming and forward to his second coming, and we get in touch with the felt experience of living in the in-between. That mix of joy and sorrow. Of giving thanks for what God has done in Jesus; and waiting and watching for Jesus’ return to finish what he started.

So as we sing, and read, let your entire body get in touch with the tension of Advent. With the sense of living in between. We invite you to draw the attention of your heart onto Jesus.

Before we sing, turn to anyone around you – if you’re watching with your family or friends – or if you’re alone, shoot a text to somebody in your life and say Merry Christmas.

Give Thanks

We want to set aside a few minutes to give thanks. It goes without saying that 2020 has been a very difficult year. All of us are feeling grief and loss.

To those of you who have lost people you love … we are with you. To those of you who had to attend a funeral over Zoom, as one person from our church said to me last week, about the death of their grandfather from COVID, it doesn’t ...

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John Mark Comer is the pastor for teaching and vision at Bridgetown: A Jesus Church in Portland, Oregon. He’s also the author of a new book called Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human.

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