“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
The fulfillment of the prophetic promise of the birth of Christ in Isaiah 9:6 is the living hope we embrace and celebrate in the season of Advent. Advent is a season of the now and the not yet … celebrating Christ’s coming and his ruling and reigning in our lives, and our living as those who are preparing for his return.
Advent is a journey! The season of Advent beckons us to open up space in our hearts and our lives to discover and rediscover the all-encompassing love God has for us and the world, and the hope, joy and peace we can have and experience through Jesus Christ. Advent is a journey of mystery in which we expect, anticipate and long for the in-breaking of God’s spirit to birth new life, joy and hope into our lives and into this hurting and broken world in which we live.
Advent is a journey of surprise as we are mindful and watchful for how God shows up unexpectedly, changes people’s lives and transforms hopeless situations. Advent is a journey of discovery as we take time to reflect and examine how we are being formed into the likeness of Christ, embodying the love of Christ and proclaiming the Good News that “God is with us!”
The meaningfulness and relevancy of Advent is not only the retelling of this Good News but the journey of living and proclaiming an expectant faith in which our lives and actions are visible and tangible expressions of Christ’s love, justice and mercy at work in the world.
In a world that is filled with fear and division and where hatred, bigotry, sexism and racism seem to be the prevailing voice and behavior, let us as followers of Jesus Christ unapologetically proclaim and demonstrate the rule and reign of Christ … love, justice, peace, mercy and hope … in our churches, our homes, our communities and throughout the world. Where there is growing cynicism and hopelessness that threaten to corrupt relationships and corrode trust, let us be preparers and bearers of the light of Christ that pierces through the darkness and brings forth new life and new possibilities.
Christ has come! Christ is Risen! Christ will come again! Live an expectant faith that seeks to bring hope and make a positive difference in people’s lives and in the world.
Bishop Tracy S. Malone
Resident Bishop to
the East Ohio Conference
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH.
near the Akron-Canton airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW ·
North Canton, OH 44720
Toll Free: 800-831-3972
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
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