Our theme for Advent this year is “Close to Home.” Advent is the beginning of another year on the Church’s Calendar, which revolves around the life of Jesus and the life of the Church. We begin by anticipating the birth of Jesus. We anticipate the coming of hope, peace, joy, and love. We look for the kingdom of God on the horizon!
During this time of year, we talk about home. We make plans to go home for the holidays. We remember the traditions of Christmas we celebrated at home. We feel like we are in the home stretch, trying to get everything ready before family visits our home.
Advent is about the birth of Jesus and the coming of the kingdom of God. It calls us to remember that our home is found in God. God is our resting place, which hits close to home, affecting who we are and how we live. It changes what we hope for in our lives, how we work for peace in this world, our experience of joy, and the way we love others.
The four Sundays of Advent lead us on a journey. We reflect on what it means to long for our home in God. We begin to look for this home. We celebrate the joy of God’s grace, which guides us home, and we lean into the love of God, which binds us to others. Gathering at home is always about the love of others!
During this Advent, we will gather with others in several ways. We will gather around the table of communion, giving thanks for God’s grace. We will gather to worship and to hear the songs of our faith. We will gather around the tables in the Fellowship Hall for our Christmas Potluck. We will gather with Sunday School classes. We will gather in each other’s homes.
We will gather to remember that our home is found in God, which binds us together! It leads us to the hope, peace, joy, and love of God; but then, it sends us out. It sends us out into the world, which is also our home, for God comes to dwell with us. As we find God throughout this world, we are at home!