IMG_1445These flowers were vibrant and beautiful up until a few days ago.  Hard to believe that another winter is coming.  Hard to believe that another church year has come and gone.  We have Thanksgiving services tonight and next Sunday Advent begins.

The First Sunday in Advent is the church’s New Year, the beginning of the Christian
year, the year of grace. The year begins with the believing, waiting, expectant
church looking forward to the coming of the Promised One, the Savior. As we enter
the year, we are greeted by the announcement: “Behold, your King is coming to you!”
For His coming we prepare in these weeks. His advent on the great day of the
Nativity is not and can never be an actual experience, for it is an event of the
past. Also His coming in grace through Word and Sacrament is nothing new. We have
never been without His gracious presence. He never ceases to come in His grace and
to bless us. If, then, we are to prepare for the historic event of the advent in
Bethlehem, the purpose of our preparation can only be to make us thoroughly
conscious of the relation in which we stand to Him. – Fred Lindemann