Today, many of my Christian friends begin a new journey as the Christian year begins fresh with the first Sunday of Advent. While my "tradition" does not officially follow the liturgical calendar, I have learned some of its benefits--including the celebration of Christ's coming. The message of Advent is hope: Christ has come and Christ will return!
This morning, I sit in our home filled with the decorations of the season. Around the breakfast table, our family will read the Scriptures and light the first candle in the Advent Wreath. The anticipation will build for four Sundays as we eagerly wait for the fulfillment of the season, Christmas!
I have chosen to organize my personal spiritual formation according to the Christian calendar. Today, I open a new prayer journal--reflecting both on the past and the future. Behind us lie the successes and failures of last year; before us await the surprises of the new year, some wonderful, others terrible.
No remedy exists to correct last year's mistakes; and I cannot control the future. However, I can resolve to meet this year with the faith that only God's grace provides. The hope of Advent fills me with determination...
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Php 3:13-14, ESV)
Happy New Year!
David L. DeGarmo (D. Min.) serves Global University as Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Theology. Along with his wife Ruth, he is also a U.S. Missionary. He has extensive experience as an educator, missionary, and pastor.
David writes an additional blog on a variety of topics. Check it out...