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Dear Children of God,

This time of year includes great anticipation. Some are anticipating the celebrations, festivals, and feasts to come – Thanksgiving, holiday gatherings, Christmas, and New Year’s along with all the happiness, joy, and fun which attends them. Others are anticipating … the difficulty, trials, and even sadness coming with these same events. For whatever reason – perhaps the loss of loved ones and friends, maybe conflicts with others, or a simple lack of energy – these days are hard to deal with. But we see the calendar turn to November. We know they’re coming, so we prepare as best we can.

The calendar also tells us we are coming to the end of the church year. And we hear in our readings a lot about another day we anticipate – the Day of the Lord, Jesus’ promised return at the end of the ages. However, unlike Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and the various parties along the way, this day is not marked on a calendar. We know it’s coming, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him …” (Revelation 1:7a). But only one person, God our Father in heaven knows when that day will actually arrive (Mark 13:32).

Some anticipate this day with dread. For those who don’t believe in Christ and His promises, the fear of the end of all things as they know it can be a terrible thing to ponder. Rather than face the reality of God’s promise, many in this boat simply ignore the reality – pretending it won’t really happen. But for others, in spite of the tribulations to come – darkened suns and moons and stars falling from the heavens and the world shaking and quaking (Mark 13:24-25), we anticipate Christ’s return with joy. Why? Because on the great Day of Christ’s promised return, He will gather all who believe in Him into His holy and eternal presence (Mark 13:26-27). On that great Day, we know we will be welcomed with all the Children of God into His new creation, the eternal Kingdom of Heaven.

                                                                                                        Patiently Waiting In Christ’s Love,

                                                                                                        Pastor Jim