“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NIV)
Advent is a gift of time and space to slow down and be present to God, who comes to us in the ordinariness of our lives. Advent is a process of active waiting and watching for God’s perpetual light to shine in the midst of darkness bringing calm to our fears, anxieties and sorrows. Advent is a time of welcoming Jesus, who is the Light, who is always coming into our hearts, our lives and the world offering the extraordinary gifts of love, peace, hope and joy. Advent is the anticipation of a miracle, God showing us a way where there was no way before … birthing something new in us, through us and beyond us.
Advent is a holy season and a spiritual journey. It is an ongoing journey of becoming more like Jesus. The more we make room for Jesus Christ in our lives, the more our lives become shaped by the character of Jesus Christ … loving, giving, gentle, forgiving, patient and welcoming. The more we understand the Holy Scriptures, and let them illuminate our path, the greater the difference our faith and witness make … loving our neighbor, having compassion for the most vulnerable and choosing to walk and work in ways that lead toward peace and justice.
God-is-with-us in the middle of the journey … the chaos, the darkness, the contradictions and the complexities of life. God-is-with-us always bringing light, hope and promise in every circumstance and situation.
In this season of Advent, I encourage us to journey together as we open our lives to the miracle-working power of God. Let us hold on to the promise of new life and surrender ourselves to Christ, whom we trust more than ourselves. Let us also hold on to each other and make room for others in our hearts. Let us see each other as gifts to behold.
May God shower you with God’s peace, mercy, love and joy this Christmas, so that you will be a beacon of hope to those you are called to love; and, so that people will encounter Jesus, as the greatest gift of all, through you.
Executive Secretary to the Bishop
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH,
near Akron-Canton Airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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