“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.” Revelation 21:3
Happy Thanksgiving and blessed Advent! The holidays are here! I hope you had a great time eating and drinking with family and friends. I hope you felt grateful and returned thanks to God for all that He has given you. I know I am grateful for each of you. I’m grateful to get out of my room and back out in the world after my covid isolation. Thank you for the cards and kind words.
This Sunday we enter into Advent and our new sermon series, Dwell With Us. When the senior staff and I were developing the theme several months ago we didn’t know what the state of the pandemic would be when we got to Advent. I had this image in my mind of a raging storm outside and a family of faith riding it out together. As we looked through scripture, this phrase “God’s dwelling place is now among the people” jumped out at us. For us it’s a prayer to God and a petition to one another. “Dwell with us?” or “Dwell with us!”
As a prayer we ask God to weather the storm with us. Knowing that if God is present the dangers that lurk around cannot overcome us. As a petition to one another it is an invitation to remember our unity in the face of those threats that otherwise might tear us from one another. It’s a simple phrase, ‘Dwell with us’, that evokes a quiet waiting and just being together. I’m reminded of a Winne the Pooh cartoon where Piglet sidles up to Pooh and calls him by name. Pooh responds ‘yes, Piglet?’ to which Piglet says, “nothing, I just wanted to be sure of you.” Dwell with us is a call to one another to just be there so we can take comfort from one another’s presence. There’s nothing to do, but being together is important nonetheless.
The storm of the pandemic is still raging around us, but we are united and strong in our faith. We’ve lost some core members recently and we grieve together. We come together again during the holidays to do old things in new ways. But we do it together. So, let me invite you to dwell with us this Advent and Christmas. Be with your church family. Sings the songs of faith. Pray the prayers and trust that God dwells with us too.
-Pastor Travis Norton