NEWS & NOTES
Like most churches is the West, we're holding a Christmas party during the season of Advent. It's tonight, by the way, at 6:30pm. We'll have gingerbread houses and hot apple cider and cookies and candy and Santa Claus might even make an appearance.
That's all fun and fine enough. And it's part of living in the time and space that we do, participating in the culture of 2018 Chicago.
But don't let this premature Christmas celebration or any of the premature Christmas festivities rob you of the season of Advent. It's too important to miss.
Advent is not a season of celebration. It is a season of darkness, pierced with a single flicker of light. In that way, it is the season that most reflects the story of our lives. Darkness is everywhere in the here and now. Yet, light is just visible if we look with eyes of faith.
If you are searching for light this Advent season, if the darkness is too much to bear, take heart: A wave of celebration is gathering. It is a wave filled with the very life of God. One with more force than any amount of gingerbread or candy canes could ever muster. One rising higher than any tree and with more warmth than any fire.
Only wait. And hope. And look. That wave will pour from a single candle flame.
THIS COMING SUNDAY
SENT TO LOVE: LOVE OF ENEMY
1 John 4:7-12
Pastor Mark Bergin
God’s love is strange. The more we fight him, the more his heart breaks for us. The more we make him an enemy, the more he moves tenderly toward us. He simply will not accept our declarations of war as the final word. In fact, he will stop at nothing to convince us to lay down our arms. Even if it requires letting us slaughter him. Anything for the rage to pass, and an opportunity for open-hearted relationship to begin. That’s why the Father sent his Son into the world, to take all of our hostility into his body and bury it in the ground. He came so that our warring with God could cease, and we could just say to our Father what we’ve been hiding all along: “Our hearts are sick. None of our home remedies have worked. There seems to be no cure. Will you heal us?”