(In The Life Of The Church)
Over the next four weeks we'll be hearing form various folks in our community on the themes of advent. Those themes could be any number of things including: waiting, light in the darkness, anticipation, the lectionary texts or the four explicit themes of the candles (hope, peace, joy and love). Our second entry comes from Blake Nobles. Blake is a Truett Student pursuing his master of Divinity
As the Church continues its Advent journey, we come to look during this second week upon the promise and assurance of peace given to us by God. And yet it is possible that peace has become a strained concept to us as of late. It’s not that we don’t understand it, or have not ourselves experienced it. It’s that in these past weeks, months, and years, peace has become fleeting in light of ever breaking news of new tragedies facing our world and its people.
It is likely that one cannot help but to be at risk of losing sight of our Christ-given peace during this Advent season. From small to large, the struggles we face and the tragedies we see continuously weigh on us, placing a new call against what this second week of Advent would have us celebrate. For students, school presses hardest during these last few weeks of the semester. For families, the joy of being together can be fought against by the stress of making it so. How much harder for those who cannot make it to see their families at all? To accompany this is the awareness of our home nation ever at odds with itself, while domestically and abroad we become aware of those who sow misery wherever they seem able. Peace can seem to be in short supply.
Yet when we turn to the promises of the coming Christ this Advent, there is an element to peace that can be rediscovered for us, even in such times as these. The Lectionary would have us look to the song of Zechariah (Luke 1:68-79), who, in celebrating his own coming child, proclaims what we must hold on to ourselves.
76. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,
77. To give His people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
78. In the tender compassion of our God
The dawn from on high shall break upon us,
79. To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Our peace is found in the salvation offered to us by the coming Christ. And yet deeper than just the forgiveness of sins, this salvation is a restoration of our relationship with God, and with one another. We believers will not find in our faith a peace that is only attainable when there is no conflict, but instead will come to recognize that the peace of Christ meets with us in redemptive wholeness. We know that we live in a broken world, and there are none of us who do not start our lives dwelling in that darkness. Yet even as this world struggles, as we struggle alongside it, in the big and the small, in prayer and petition for ourselves and for others, we can be at peace knowing that Christ has already overcome. This is the peace we must rest in, and this is the peace that we are called to proclaim to the world.
Perhaps it is cheating ahead in the story, but it should not be surprising to us that at the final Passover meal, Christ tells His disciples all that He and they are soon to suffer, and yet does so for their benefit. In this beautiful dichotomy, His proclamation is simple:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus tells them they will have peace, even in the uncertain and tumultuous times ahead. We have this same promise, and during these times we cannot loose sight of who Christ is, for us and for all, and what He calls us in to: a redemption that encompasses the whole of creation. That is the peace He gives, which can never be taken away.
UBC OAR Update (Ownership and Accountability Research Team)
The UBCOAR team met again this past Sunday, and we are beginning to work through some conversations about what it means to be a “UBC’er,” and what ownership and accountability looks like at UBC. We have set a schedule for our meetings in the Spring, and we would love to hear your thoughts on what it means to be a UBC’er, and what you think ownership and accountability should like at UBC. We will be meeting the second Sunday of every month, starting on January 10th. If you have thoughts or questions, we would love to hear them. The team consists of the following folks: Toph Whisnant, Kareem Shane, Liz Andrasi, BJ Parker, Kristin Dodson, Jacob Robinson, Leigh Curl, Amy Smith Carman, Brandon Morgan, and Dani Miller. If you would like to share your thoughts with any of these fine folks, please do. If you would like contact information for them, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
UBC in Thailand
This coming Sunday, December 6th, we will have our first team meeting. We have 16 wonderful folks from UBC signed up for the trip. Please be praying for the team as we prepare for our trip in May, and be looking for ways you can support UBC’s work in Thailand over the first few weeks of next semester. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com
In a recent not-so-scientific study, 100% of the people interviewed said they received all A’s on their exams by studying at UBC. Yes, that’s right, we are open for Study Hall. December 8th and 9th, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, the church will be open from 10am-midnight for you to come study. We will have snacks, drinks, and other assorted goodies for your consumption. Last, and certainly not least, we have our traditional pancake extravaganza at 10pm on Wednesday night!!! Come eat pancakes, hang out with your friends, and dominate your finals before they ever start! If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you ever thought to yourself, "man UBC has so much artistic talent. i wish there was a venue for getting together to appreciate that talent?" well great news, now there is. this evening UBC will be hosting 'the backside,' which is a gathering of said artists. come listen to music and experience art. Doors open at 7:00 PM. For more information contact email@example.com.
UBC Kids Information
Parents! The holidays are upon us, so I wanted to give you a better idea of what you can expect over the next few weeks! This week your kids will begin our Adventures in Advent! We will be unwrapping the gifts that God gave us through Jesus and lighting our own (flameless!) Advent Wreaths each week! On December 20th, we will be having our first UBCKids Christmas Party during the service! If you are interested in helping out with this by providing snacks or in other ways, let me know! Finally, we will be having kids join the service on December 27thand January 3rd! Snacks and color sheets will be provided, but it’s always a good idea to have a few tricks up your sleeve!
As always, contact Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or concerns! Happy Advent!
Work is Worship
Greeters: Evie and the Blaylocks
Coffee Makers: Chad and Joel
Mug Cleaners: Michael and Kayla
- Sunday Sermon Text: Luke 3:1-6 "Advent "
Least of These and Bradley Hathaway are playing a show at ubc on December 12th. It's free, and you should come.
ITLOTC will not be in print Friday December 25 and January 1. Please take the time that you would have used to read this newsletter to celebrate baby Jesus, enjoy family, and play with your new toys.
Do you have an Emergency? Do you Need to talk to a Pastor?:
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