Advent and Christmas Eve
“Advent is marked by tension—tension between uncertainty and hope, fear and longing, the now and not-yet of God's promises. It is a time of penitential preparation for the birth of Christ. It is a dangerous time for the faithful, because it calls us to examine the end and the beginning of our faith.” (Julie Polter)
Advent is Latin for “coming” and is the season of the Liturgical Year that begins four Sundays before Christmas. Advent celebrates the mystery of God’s incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ when, in the words of John’s Gospel:
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Though Advent has been observed for centuries as a time to contemplate Christ's birth, many people today acknowledge it only with a blank look. For the vast majority of us, December flies by in a flurry of activities, and what is called "the holiday season" turns out to be the most stressful time of the year. But rightly understood, Advent calls a halt to all that. It is a season of preparation and anticipation, in which we prepare our hearts, as it were, for the coming of God to us. The Old Testament prophecies of the coming of Jesus refer to one who will be called Immanuel which means “God with us.”
A deliberate tension must be built into our practice of the Advent season. Christ has come, and yet not all things have reached completion. We still await his Second Coming, when he will return to finish God’s work of redemption by creating a new heaven and earth. For this reason Advent is also a penitential season, a time to inventory of our spiritual lives and joyfully pursue repentance in the confident expectation and hope of Christ’s coming again.
Join us as we journey through Advent together. We worship Sundays at 10am and will have a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols at 6pm (on Christmas Eve of course).
December 23, 2015
What Community Groups Have Meant to Me (Part 2)
Below is a description of what Community Groups have meant to Kristen Redler, a soon-to-be member of Cobblestone. As she says community groups have been “one of the most helpful and fulfilling experiences” that she has had at Cobblestone.
About two months after I began attending Cobblestone Church, Pastor John asked me if I’d be interested in joining a community group. Initially, I was really nervous about joining, and I was not sure what to expect. Now that I am attending a community group for the second year in a row, I can honestly say its been one of the most helpful and fulfilling experiences that I have had at Cobblestone. ... (read more)