From Pastor Barry Hildebrandt


The Advent of Our King

The Advent Season is a time of anticipation and
preparation. We anticipate the coming celebration of our
Savior’s birth in Bethlehem; we also prepare ourselves in
body, mind and spirit for His Second Coming.

In contrast, the world and our own sinful nature
would rather have us spend the holiday season in nothing but
partying and decorating for social gatherings. Television
commercials and all kinds of ads encourage the purchase of
particular gifts from the latest “must-have” items and things
“for the person who has everything”. Santa and his helpers
are busy holding children and taking photos, and generally
turning heads and hearts to earthly concerns.

True Christian preparation is then short-circuited by
the desire to be prepared with all the gifts and goodies
necessary for all the holiday activities, as we scurry through
the days preceding December 25, until all that we’re
anticipating is being finished with everything for another

What we as Christians need in all this hustle and
bustle is to stop for a moment and consider what Advent is
really about. As you will see this weekend, the altar
paraments are not white or red or green as are most
Christmas decorations. Instead they are royal blue – a sign of
the special nature of our preparations for the King of Kings.
This is a time to reflect on our lives and determine whether
our priorities are consistent with His principles of the
Kingdom. Will these coming days be filled with the oil of faith
so that our lives will continue to burn brightly as lights in our
world? Will this time of preparation enable us to be truly
ready for our Lord’s Return?

Don’t allow your prep-time to be misdirected or cut
short by this season’s busy pace. Don’t miss out on the joyful
anticipation of Jesus’ coming into our world. May we use the
time God is giving us to get our lives in order, as each day
moves us that much closer to our Savior’s Second Coming. As
we join for worship on Sundays and Wednesdays, as we make
use of our Advent devotions, and as we follow family Advent
traditions, may each of us focus on the true meaning of this
holy season: First -- Christ’s Birth…the promise fulfilled, and
Second -- His Return…the promise yet to come. My prayer is
that the Holy Spirit would richly bless all that we do in these
coming days!

~~ Pastor Hildebrandt



Article first published in the December 2017 issue of Crossties Newsletter