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Advent 2017


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Advent 2017


“Looking Forward” – An Introduction to Advent

Christmas is often tied to traditions – some keepers, some dreaded. Good traditions serve a purpose: to focus our attention and help us cherish or celebrate.  For centuries, Advent has been a tradition to commemorate the Christmas season. 

Advent comes from the Latin word, Adventus, meaning “coming”.  It celebrates the arrival of the Christ child on earth as a demonstration of God’s supreme love.  God in the form of a man.  A King in the form of an infant. And yet it also captures our imagination for second coming where things are restored as God intends. 

Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, of longing. Within each of us rests…well, an un-rest. We all seem to have a yearning for something more, or better, or freer. Christmas is a busy season filled with BOTH opportunities to do a lot of good AND feelings of obligation. As a faith family, we want to focus ourselves on His arrival – back then and in the future.  With scripture as a Guide and God’s Spirit as our voice, we want to move toward December 25th with a focus on Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace.

A Disclaimer.  Advent has many expressions.  Depending on your tradition. the colors, candles, and themes vary.  There’s no one right way to go through Advent in preparation for and celebration of Christmas.  

It is this hope - however faint at times - that God - however distant He seems – is present, providing, and writing a redeeming story.  As a church, we want to be a part of the solution in repairing, renewing, and restoring the world.  We see a faithful past and look forward to a gracious and bright tomorrow.  It is our sincere prayer that we can all experience a little more Heaven on earth this Christmas. 

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Advent at Home

Meaning behind the Wreaths: 

The circle of the wreath reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy, which has no beginning or end. 

The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life. 

Candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son. The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which themselves symbolize the four centu-ries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ. 

The Colors of the candles vary with different traditions, but there are usually three purple, and one pink or rose candle. One of the purple candles is lighted the first Sunday of Advent, a Scripture is read, with a short reading, and a pray-er. On subsequent Sundays, previous candles are re-lighted with an additional one lighted. The pink candle is usually lighted on the third Sunday of Advent. 

The Light of the candles itself becomes an important symbol of the season. The light reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world that comes into the darkness of our lives to bring newness, life, and hope. It also reminds us that we are called to be a light to the world as we reflect the light of God's grace to others (Isa 42:6). The progression in the lighting of the candles symbolizes the various aspects of our waiting experience. As the candles are lighted over the four-week period, it also symbolizes the darkness of fear and hopelessness re-ceding and the shadows of sin falling away as more and more light is shed into the world. The flame of each new candle reminds the worshippers that some-thing is happening, and that more is yet to come. Finally, the light that has come into the world is plainly visible as the Christ candle is lighted at Christ-mas, and worshippers rejoice over the fact that the promise of long ago has been realized. 

The purple represents repentance. The pink symbolizes joy. The central candle is called the Christ candle and is not lit until Christmas day. When you light the candle it is customary to read a few verses of scripture that relate to meaning of the candle. Often the person who lights the candle recites a short statement of belief and faith as the candle is lit and then everyone unites in prayer. 

Build Your Own Wreath. 

Hobby and Christian bookstores sell Advent products in a variety of styles. Can-dles can either be votives or long tapers for your wreath. Assembling an Ad-vent wreath at home doesn't have to be expensive. 

Three purple/blue candles (votive or taper) 

One pink candle (votive or taper) 

One white candle (votive or taper) 

Five candleholders (for votives or tapers) 

Small holiday swag of artificial pine greenery (18”) 

Circular tray (to arrange your candles)

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Messages


Messages


SERMON PODCAST

Mission Hills messages will be available on iTunes and Soundcloud.

VIDEOS

Check out Mission Hills video on our Vimeo Channel

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Bible Reading Plan


Bible Reading Plan


Chronological Plan

Click HERE to read the books of the Bible in the order that they are believed to be written.

Click HERE to view today's reading.

M'Cheyne Bible Reading Plan

Click HERE to read through the beginnings of 4 different sections of the Bible. This reading will start at the beginning of Earth, the chronological beginning, the beginning of the New Testament, and the beginning of the Church.

Click HERE to view today's reading.

Through the Bible Plan

Click HERE to read a section of the Old Testament and the New Testament each day.

Click HERE to view today's reading.