Advent Letter 2016

Dear Friends

November seems to have been a dreary month – in more ways than just the weather.  As I look out my office window the sky is gray and the landscape has shifted to the muted tones of winter. There is one major exception that changes the landscape dramatically, the sight and sound of the children playing during lunch and recess; this always gives me joy and a bit of hope.

As I think about many events over the past months it strikes me there are always issues that can get in the way of preparing our hearts for Christmas. Those things range from global catastrophes, to family and personal issues, to just finding the commercialism to be overwhelming. Still, Christmas is coming and it is an opportunity for us to shift our focus to the birth of Jesus and what that truly means for all of us.

By no means do I think we should run from the secular world and the craziness that comes with Christmas. After all, some of it can be fun. But, I do hope and pray that each of us can take time to think about the deeper meaning of the birth of Jesus.  Hopefully, we can find ways to see beyond some of the secular aspects of the season into that which is sacred for ourselves and others.

Now more than ever is a time for us to search for a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in our lives because of Jesus. It is a time for us to consider how we can best reach out beyond our normal circle and connect with others.  Also, now more than ever is a time to offer one another kindness and patience, compassion and hope, joy and gentleness, and most of all love.

I hope this Christmas is a time of deep meaning, joy and celebration and that all of our hearts grow three sizes.

Wendy, Brenda, Jeremy, Andy and I along with our families wish you a joyous and meaningful Christmas.