December 18, 2018

Advent 2018

"Following Christ"


Grant that the remembrance of the blessed life that once was lived out on this common earth under these ordinary skies may remain with us in all the common tasks and duties of this season.  In all that comes, let us remember his eagerness not to be ministered unto, but to minister; his sympathy with suffering of every kind; his bravery in the face of his own suffering; his meekness of bearing, so that, when reviled, he reviled not; his steadiness of purpose to keeping to the appointed task; his simplicity;  his self-discipline; his serenity of spirit; and his complete reliance upon his Father.  In each of these ways, give us grace to follow in his footsteps.


We must keep exploring new ways to make our church relationship more creative in relation to worship (searching for new forms of worship and appreciation--such as beautiful flowers for the sanctuary), evangelism (attractive and joyful living), life and work, and education.  One suggested plan for Christian living extends even far beyond the Advent season:  (1) Attend church services regularly and practice the presence of God daily.  (2) Read one helpful chapter of the Bible each day.  (3) Approach all persons and situations with a Christian attitude of sympathetic understanding, appreciation, and positive helpfulness.  (4) Pursue as the dominant ambition and purpose of life the attainment of oneness with God in Christ and the peace, strength, and quality of soul that flow from it.  (5) Believe in and seek community with the Holy Catholic Church (ecumenicity) as well as with other world religions.  (6) Bear witness to the peace and power of God in the daily routine of life.  And finally, to remind ourselves daily that the Church is not that to which we go on weekends, but it is that which goes everywhere during week days.

                                                                                      -- George Shriver


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