Not only did we begin a new Church Year last Sunday with the start of Advent, we also began a new season in our shared life at Restoration. We have started what we call the Life Season. As a church, our stated mission is to join God in the restoration of my life, our church, and our city and we have a team of leaders dedicated to each of those areas of mission within Restoration. Through the summer the City Committee led us out of our church walls into a greater understanding how the love of Christ compels our mission in our city. This fall the Church Committee directed our focus to all the ways that our homes matter as outposts of the Kingdom of God that build up the people of God.
This new Life Season will carry us through the “high holy days” of Christmas and Easter and call us back to the truth that we are made know and worship Jesus. In fact, we believe that we know him most truly–that we see him most clearly–in worship and in that in the process of beholding him we are also becoming like him (2 Cor. 3:18). Our inspiration for this season comes from Paul in Philippians 3:10-11, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
Our worship in this new season, from Advent through Easter, guides us through the birth, ministry, sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. And we will stick close to that gospel narrative arc because above all else we want to know Jesus and be made like him. Even now we have started the sermon series “Jesus is…” because we don’t want wake up on Christmas morning thinking of Jesus as just a sweet infant in a manger. We want to bowled over with awe and wonder because we have encountered Jesus who is perfectly God with us. In this season of Advent remember that when we cried out to God in need and darkness he extended the invitation to know him by taking on our humanity and coming to us in Christ.
The Life Committee invites you to join God in the restoration of your life through one thing—worshipping Jesus. Make worship with Restoration on Sunday mornings a high priority and plan now to attend the special services we will hold this season on Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, and Maundy Thursday. Not only that, make worship in your own home or workplace, on your own and with family or close friends the foundation of your daily schedule. We will be emphasizing the transforming power of learning to pray the Daily Office from the Book of Common Prayer and you will be invited to a prayer retreat in January to help you establish this holy habit of regular worship firmly in your life.
You are made to worship Jesus. You were redeemed in order that you might know him. You are being restored so that you can be transformed to his image. This season let he cry of your heart be, “I want to know Christ!”