From the Pastor's Desk Light It Up on Saturday!

Light It Up on Saturday!

Christmas season has arrived! Advent is here. On Sunday, we lit the first of the Advent candles – the HOPE candle, and were reminded how Advent begins in the dark, with the light of Christ breaking in.

Do you know what the word “Advent” actually means? It’s from the Latin adventus, and literally means “coming” or “arrival”. Advent is Jesus’ “arrival” with us and for us, and as the angels announced on that first Christmas: it is good news of great joy for all the people.

So we want to share the good news of Jesus’ advent with others.

That’s really what the Christmas Tree Lighting “Light It Up!” After Party is all about, and in fact, that’s what the church is all about!

And so for us to be able to (eventually) share that good news with the people of Atlantic Highlands and the surrounding towns, we need to start to get to know them and make relationships with them. Long gone are the days of people showing up to church on Sunday mornings “just because”. For so many people, church is such an afterthought that they’ll probably never show up on a Sunday morning unless there’s a compelling reason to. For others, in their minds, Christians are just kind of weird, judgmental, and to be avoided. Even if they wanted to come on a Sunday, they might be nervous to, they might be intimidated, or they might not even know that we exist! 

So that is what the Light It Up After Party is meant to begin to change. It’s simply a chance to open our doors to the families of Atlantic Highlands, in order to meet some of them, to invite them in to the building where we share life together, and begin to form meaningful relationships.

We want to do this, really, for one reason: because we have really good news to share – good news of GREAT joy – and this is one step along that journey.

Our hope for this event is that we can get to know some of the really neat people and families in town, and they can get to know us a bit. We want to help them see that we have a new and exciting energy to us, that we are “open for business”, that our Kids program is growing and ready for their kids to join in, and that there is Life (with a capital L) to be found at Central.

So what am I asking of you? A few things:

  1. Pray that the weather holds out and the tree lighting actually happens!
  2. Pray that people would come.
  3. Pray that God would plant seeds of faith because of the event.
  4. Bake or bring some desserts to share (cookies, brownies, peppermint bark, etc….no utensils needed!).
  5. Be ready to welcome, have fun, and laugh with new visitors.
  6. Invite and/or bring along a family, neighbor, or friend.

So we hope to see you on Saturday. The Atlantic Highlands tree lighting is at 4:00, and then the Light It Up! After Party is right afterwards…so we’ll see you then!

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