Brothers and sisters,

Believe it or not, we are less than three weeks away from the beginning of Advent! It amazes me how, each year, November just seems to melt away. Regardless, we’ve got a lot of really exciting services coming up throughout the rest of the year. This coming Sunday, November 14, will be the close of our sermon series, “We Are How We Eat.” Then the next Sunday, November 21, will be Christ the King Sunday, a day on which we celebrate the royal, regal nature of Christ’s character. The Sunday after that, November 28, is the First Sunday of Advent—the Sunday of Hope—and our Hanging of the Greens Service. I’m excited for this Advent season. I’m excited for this season of preparation as we await the celebration of Christ’s birth. I’m excited for the simple fact that this is our first Advent together! In another part of the Illuminator we’ve printed the schedule of services for the Advent season with times so everyone can be sure to make plans to be here for those services.

As we move closer to the season of Advent, I did want to go on and tell you all about our Advent and Christmas sermon series, “Incredible”. I know that may sound like an underwhelming title for a series, but as I sat here and thought about the different passages we’re going to look at, the different people we’ll meet, and the way that God brings it all together, the only word that kept coming to mind was, “Incredible.” And for this sermon series, I want us to think of the word incredible in all its different meanings. Most of the time, when you hear the word in-credible you think of something being great, right? Krispy Kreme Doughnuts? Incredible! The Sound of Music? Incredible! Spending time with loved ones? Incredible! And I do think that applies to the season of Advent as well. The Savior of the world is coming? Incredible!

But the word incredible also means, “difficult or impossible to believe; too extraordinary and improbable to be believed.” And as we read through the passages I’ve chosen for this sermon series, I think you’ll find that the people in these stories believed that what they were hearing was incredible too. It was impossible to think that this was happening. The plan God was setting in motion was too improbable, too unlikely to work. And yet, time and again, we see the people have faith. We see people trust in God. And, of course, we know that doing incredible things—that’s God’s specialty. So I want us to take some time this Advent to think of the incredible things God has done for humanity. I also want us to take some time to think of the incredible things God has done for each of us.

This will be the last Illuminator before Thanksgiving, so I would encourage you to think about these things over the Thanksgiving holiday as well. What are the things you’re thankful for? What are the things God has done that amaze you? How can you do something incredible for your friends, your family, your neighbors?

Grace and peace,
Pastor Ben