“We live only as God comes forth to meet us, bringing, again and again, the fresh gift of life. Always we live toward the future. It is not enough to live out of our past experience. That would be like living tomorrow on the food we had yesterday. Every day is meant to be a day of Advent—with a fresh supply of grace richly provided and immediately at hand.” Those are the words of Bill Cotton, sharing the wisdom of his teacher, Fred Gealy.
This is the season of Advent and these words are the lesson I have learned this year. I entered Advent tired and a bit discouraged. Lots had been happening and I was having a hard time making it through what is wrong in the world to find what is right.
And then I encountered lots of people who spoke of hope, love, joy, and peace in tangible change-the-world terms. Of course, all this was really God speaking through the hearts of God’s people. Where else could hope, love, joy, peace come from but God?
So thank you to the Chicago Cab driver who is sorting out good and evil,
And thank you to the prophets Malachi, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, and Isaiah who stood up in a world torn up and tightened up by greed and selfishness and violence and shouted hope, love, joy, and peace.
And thank you to Lance Henning, the director of Habitat, and retired Judge Constance Cohen, who speak hope, love, joy, and peace into homelessness and poverty and abuse and brokenness.
And thank you to Charlie’s Filling Station for filling our cupboards with food so that we can fill our little pantry and fill the stomachs of the hungry.
And thank you for the hundreds of ways we celebrate this season, with children who sing and bells that ring and candlelight and “O’ Little Town of Bethlehem” played on the piano with such heart that it transports us to the dark streets of an ancient village looking for a manger.
And thank you to the grieving who came to the Blue Christmas Service and held out their losses to God knowing that even tears are an acceptable offering to God.
And thank you to Jesus who told us to “stay alert!” because God’s kingdom IS coming.
And thank you for the way you gather here at the church and reach out a hand to one another.
And thank you for the way you move into the world and reach out a hand to one another.
And thank you to God,
For coming forth to meet us.
For bringing us, again and again, the fresh gift of life.
For the fresh supply of grace richly provided and immediately at hand.
Advent has done its work on me. I am ready to celebrate the arrival of Christ. I hope you are too.
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
Like us on Facebook or visit us at wdmumc.org
This week at WDMUMC:
Tonight! Midweek Refuel! Ham balls and good fellowship are on the menu. Supper at 5:30.
Chancel Choir meets tonight at 7:30. Have a song in your heart this season? You are always welcome to join the choir.
Our 8:30 worship will be a traditional service with Lessons and Carols. Love Christmas carols? Come and join in the joy of the season.
Our 11:00 worship will explore Mary’s song, Luke 1:46-55. Mary learns that she is going to have a baby. Her world is turned upside down. She will be disgraced. This is a risk-it-all situation and she responds with a song. We should all listen.
Christmas Eve Services
5 pm Family Worship. Our children will re-live the story of the first Christmas. We will also celebrate the birth of the Christ child by celebrating the baptism of a baby girl. Joy!
9 pm Traditional Worship. In this service, we will again hear the wonder-filled story of Christmas and watch for the light of Christ to enter the world. A very special service.
Both will conclude with candlelight and the singing of “Silent Night.” We hope to share this holy night with you.
Memorial Service for Kenneth Eshelman
Kenneth Eshelman was a long time member of WDMUMC. He raised his family in this church. In recent years he has lived in MO. Kenneth died at the age of 93 on December 15. His funeral service will be held on Friday at McLaren’s Funeral home at 2 pm. Please hold the family in prayer.