Johannes Schouten
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We are well into the season of Advent.

And what a season it is!

On the one hand is the season of extreme busyness, anxiety, stress, consumerism gone wild, choclate (!!) and a seeming endless stream of concerts, parties, dinners and things to do.

I am sure that some (many?) of us brace ourselves for this season and think: "Oh no, here we go again!"

And yet...I have come to realize that in the midst of the craziness, busyness, consumerism, etc. God always seem to do something wonderful at Nelson Ave during the month of December.

What I typically experience during this month is:

1. More love and affection between members of the church community.

2. More times of community and togetherness: services, dinners, etc.

3. More focus on others through cards, greetings, gifts and acts of kindness.

4. Great generosity through our weekly offerings and special Christmas appeals.

5. A warm and cozy feeling in the church and a longing that it would last longer...

6. The amazing songs and music of the birth of Jesus (both in the church, the malls and our culture at large)

7. A longing among people to hear the great story of Jesus' birth and live into all the implications of His birth for our lives today.

So, I want (more and more) to give thanks to God for the season of Advent and Christmas.

And may God by His Spirit continue His work of connecting us during this season for the sake of His church, His world and for the sake of the name of Jesus Christ!