I am always excited about the arrival of Advent. The First Sunday of the Advent Season always means that the Thanksgiving Table has been shared and now we are beginning to draw a focus on the celebration Christmas. But Christmas never arrives full blown and freshly formed. There is a process and a sequence of events that allow us to make the journey to the manger of Bethlehem. The Season of Advent provides the path for the journey.
This year the path toward Christmas will guide our steps through the Gospel of John. There will be a reading that has been selected for each day of the week, a Sunday focus on John, and an invitation to read John’s account of the life of Jesus from beginning to the end. We are calling it ‘In The Beginning’ to match the three opening words of John.
But In The Beginning also other meanings for our journey through the Bible. We remember those very words as the opening of the Book of Genesis on page one of the Bible. In fact, the word ‘Genesis’ literally means, in the beginning. In addition to reminding us about the inaugural words of the bible and the initial words that are recorded in the Gospel of John, In The Beginning also draws us to the opening notes that make up the melody of our personal faith and the harmony of the first earthly breath that was drawn by Jesus himself.
I pray that In The Beginning will be a fresh starting place for you and your faith journey. You may have been walking the path of Christ for many years or this may be the first time you have opened to the Gospel record. Either way, the ‘Word that became flesh’ has a wonderful way of making all things new.
My invitation is one of covenant…let’s covenant together to be open to something new and fresh as we walk the path of Advent and arrive at the Christ Candle on Christmas Eve. What do you think God wants to do in your life during this season?
PS: My deepest thanks to Mel Bond for faithfully working through the production details; to Beverly LaForce for her gift of proofreading; and to Jason Anderson for his talented eye for design. The compass image on the back cover represents the thoughtful and diligent work of our 2014 vision team.