Unto Us

Yesterday was an incredible first day of Advent. 

At church, we celebrated 15 new confirmands who all professed their faith and officially joined our family of faith.  These awesome eighth and ninth graders gave me so much hope for the future of the church.  

And I should also say that I got the opportunity to baptize one of the young women at Barton Springs near downtown Austin on Saturday morning with a whole crew of her friends, family, church staff and elders in attendance.  

When we celebrated her on Sunday we showed the video, and it was beyond moving.  

We also welcomed some additional new members at both of our worship services, which was an incredible joy.  And we passed out our Advent devotionals to the congregation---devotionals which were full of daily readings written by our church members. 

The church was packed--full of energy, life, and light.  At one point my wife Merideth leaned over to me and said, "This is so incredible."  I had to agree.  

But we weren't done.  That afternoon Merideth and I led our Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class where roughly half of the 30-plus members brought in credit cards to cut up, representing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt.  We celebrated pretty hard in class, I have to say.  

Afterward,  we attended our annual Children's Christmas Pageant, and it was easily the cutest and most endearing kids' program that I've ever seen.   The room was jammed with families, parents, grandparents, and I was blown away by our talented kids, and the fantastic staff and volunteers who put it all together.  

There's a word in Sanskrit that describes the incredible feelings that I felt all day long--feelings that were shared by so many people who are part of the wonderful church family I am privileged to serve.  The word is kama muta, and it means "moved by love," as part of a "communal emotion."

If you are reading this today and you don't have a community to share this blessed season with--I urge you to make that the first order of business for your Advent journey.  We are better when we are together with fellow travelers, companions--people with whom we experience life and love.  

When we feel the kama muta that comes from the shared joy, hope, peace and love of Advent, we are reminded that the Savior who comes does so unto us.  For us all.  Together.  

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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