The Advent or “Coming” of Jesus at his birth fills with meaning the simple phrase “God with Us.” 

godwithusThis Sunday, we begin our Advent series, which we’re calling “God with Us.” Advent is the four-week season before Christmas when the church meditates on the arrival and eventual return of Jesus Christ. “Advent” actually means “coming” in the Greek language, and so we wait in eager anticipation for the coming of Christ.

One of the names for Christ that appears in the Christmas story is Emmanuel, which means “God With Us.” To me, each word has significance.

GOD – Jesus Emmanuel is “very God of very God.” Not just a man representing God, but God in the truest sense.

WITH – Jesus Emmanuel has united us to Himself. Truly, where can we go fro His presence? We are never without Him.

US – Jesus Emmanuel was “made man.” Physical, relatable, able to sympathize with all of our weaknesses.

What if this Advent season you paused for a moment each day to reflect that God is with you?

To help, the leaders of our church have compiled daily Advent readings that will be available starting Sunday, November 27 on the Pacific Crossroads app and website. Each reading will take 2-5 minutes and includes a short meditation on the scripture passage written by a leader or pastor. It’s our Advent gift to you!

Finally, please enjoy this Advent poem by one of my favorite poets, Scott Cairns. Consider it a cautionary tale.

Advent by Scott Cairns

Well, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas — everywhere, children eyeing the bright lights and colorful goods, traffic a good deal worse than usual, and most adults in view looking a little puzzled, blinking their eyes against the assault of stammering bulbs and public displays of goodwill. We were all embarrassed, frankly, the haves and the have-nots — all of us aware something had gone far wrong with an entire season, something had eluded us. And, well, it was strenuous, trying to recall what it was that had charmed us so, back when we were much smaller and more oblivious than not concerning the weather, mass marketing, the insufficiently hidden faces behind those white beards and other jolly gear. And there was something else: a general diminishment whose symptoms included the X’s in Xmas, shortened tempers, and the aggressive abandon with which most celebrants seemed to push their shiny cars about. All of this seemed to accumulate like wet snow, or like the fog with which our habitual inversion tried to choke us, or to blank us out altogether, so that, of a given night, all that appeared over the mess we had made of the season was what might be described as a nearly obscured radiance, just visible through the gauze, either the moon disguised by a winter veil, or some lost star — isolated, distant, sadly dismissing of us, and of all our expertly managed scene.

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