As I have mentioned previously, during these pandemic days, we have been “attending” worship and Sunday School online. While it hasn’t been equal to being able to meet in person, it has been rewarding to be able to join with others online.
Our Sunday School class just completed reading/studying “HOPE, an Advent Journey” by Olu Brown. Olu Brown is founding pastor of Impact Church in Atlanta, Georgia, one of the fastest growing churches in America.
Today’s session was especially meaningful to me. The conclusion, Chapter Seven, is to be considered an Advent party favor. As we have moved on from 2020, we are able to feel that we have made it through one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult for many, periods in modern day history. While we are facing a New Year with the declaration - to ourselves, perhaps to others - that we are going to live our best life in 2021, regardless of the circumstances that surround us, we may be tempted to let the past fears find a way into our lives. Rev. Brown mentions these four phrases of hope to see us through the times that are ahead. They are 1) Don’t worry. 2) Don’t fear. 3) Stay positive. This refers to surrounding yourself with people and information that share good news, even while staying informed to what is going on around you. 4) Stay curious. Keep your curiosity alive by keeping Advent close to your heart.
This is where you have a choice. What is ahead is the future, and it is up to us to choose to live it with joy and peace, or fear and anxiety. The joy and peace we have had during Advent and Christmas will still be with us in the future. We just have to make an effort to choose it and apply it to our relationships.
Rev. Brown writes his concluding paragraph with these words: “The light of Christ remains after the Advent season because the light is within you. Wherever you are, there is light, and wherever you go, there is light.
- Be the light.
- Be the joy.
- Be the hope.”
I found these words to be words of reassurance and encouragement, giving direction for the days ahead.
If you think you would enjoy this book, www.marketsquarebooks.com is a site for you to investigate for purchase.
I want to take this opportunity to mention that the work of the United Methodist Women has continued through this time, and this new year has new challenges. Today’s Mission Focus is the AK Child & Family, Anchorage, Alaska. Providing opportunities to examine and experience God’s love in different ways from acceptance to theological discussion.
We have been so very lucky that our church wasn't closed for long and that we've been opened with limits but our church is large and with lots of safe distancing. I've been able to sing solo without accompaniment and hopefully will be able to continue but I can't take anything for granted.ReplyDelete
I love the wise words of Rev. Brown on the 4 phrases of hope.
I'm late seeing your post, Sister, but I agree that we must keep our hope alive! Jesus came to give us hope for eternity, and we need only to reach out to Him and receive that same hope for ourselves. He is truly the Prince of Peace! Love you!ReplyDelete
First, I thought this blog said "Choccies". I know!ReplyDelete
I attend church online now too, a couple of different services each week, and if I forget, which is easy enough when the days all run together, they are available on FB or YouTube channels. I am wondering when, if ever, I will feel safe, vaccine or not, to return to future congregations.