Hello Church Family!

It was so wonderful to be back in church with all of you on Sunday! I realized during my time away, more so my time at home, how important church is to my overall wellbeing. I realized how assembling and being together so positively affects my everyday life; Sharing in hope, sharing in peace, sharing in our joys, and sharing love with others who speak the same language. Also the power that comes in sharing our common Faith; our Hope in Jesus and the Joy that it brings to us as a church family when we’ve shared the hope that only Jesus can bring with someone else, and when we see the fruit of that encounter.

There is an unspeakable joy that we share when God has loved through us and we are able to experience another living soul finding their way back to Gods love. We saw a glimpse of this last week when our sister in Christ Becca shared her testimony. God's love in action, God's love in motion moving through us, bringing hope.

It is that same spirit that also enables every believer to experience the “peace that passes all understanding.” During Advent, we are drawn by the Holy Spirit into the place of mindfulness that leads to the Manger, that place of holiness where the Prince of Peace first made his appearance as a tiny babe, that place where hope, peace, joy and love we're birthed. Where Light broke through the darkness, and darkness was no longer absolute.

Jesus was born into a chaotic world and grew to adulthood in a world that was anything but peaceful. And yet, Jesus always walked in peace, with hope and with confidence that His Father was in control.

I remember one time when I was a kid my dad took me to work with him. At nighttime, he cleaned drugstore floors. Drug stores look very different when they're dark. The candy shelves and the toy aisle that typically brought such excitement and joy looked very different when covered in the darkness. The streetlight that showed through the front window cast an eerie shadow on the shelves and onto the floor. It made them look as though they were alive. When the wind blew the walls creaked, leaving me with no sense of direction. Truth was, I was afraid and nervous. I didn't know where A picture containing text, nature, sunset, night skyI was going. I would say, “Dad I'm afraid.” He looked down at me, and without saying a word he just took my hand. The minute he took my hand I was no longer afraid. I still had no idea where we were and the noise in the shadows still felt like I was walking through the trees in The Wizard of Oz, but the moment my father took my hand I felt peace. My fear was gone.. I had every confidence in my father's leading. I trusted him to protect me…and that he did.

There are times these days my friends where we will feel like we are walking through that dark forest in the Wizard of Oz. We feel fear or feel unsettled.

I encourage you to take our Father's hand, to reach out to our Father in heaven. To reach for the hand of the Prince of Peace and trust that He is with you and that He will guide you.

When we reach for the Father and allow the Prince of Peace, Jesus to fill us and embrace us, guide us and love us, He will most assuredly give us that peace that passes all understanding. He promises…

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6–7

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3

This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. Acts 10:36

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Romans 5:1

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1”

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

God promises peace in His presence. Here is a collection of 25 verses that will bless you with the promise of peace. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. Psalm 4:8

The Lord gives His people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. Psalm 29:11

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. Psalm 23:1–2

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28–30

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you His peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 37:8

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. Luke 12:6–7

Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power. He will rule with a powerful arm. See, He brings His reward with Him as He comes. He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart. Isaiah 40:10–11

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8”

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12–13

I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. Psalm 16:8–9

‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.’ Numbers 4:24–26

My hope for you this advent season is that you will journey toward the Manger. That you will journey toward that place where peace was birthed. And that the loving glow that radiated from the light of Jesus will penetrate your spirit with His warmth and give you renewed hope, peace, joy, and love this advent season.

Grace and peace to each one of you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Pastor Nettie

Advent of Peace — Calvary Wallingford

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