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Celebrating St. Nick, Confirmation and more! – St. Nick’s News Dec. 5, 2023

Full St. Nick’s News for December 5, 2023

Dear Friends,

This past Sunday, we had the joy of confirming, receiving, and reaffirming people into our church community. We also had the honor of Bishop Gary Lillibridge and his wife Catherine joining us in worship for our celebratory day. In his sermon, Bishop Lillibridge invited us into preparing for our Sunday worship by forming a habit of readiness and asking ourselves the questions, “I wonder how God will speak to me today in worship?” He invited us into expecting God to show up in our lives, in our worship, and through one another.

Sunday evening, I began a new book called, How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People by Pete Greig. It is what it says, a guidebook to help people understand prayer, how to build better habits, and shares some stories from people who have become, to him, superheroes of prayer. In his chapter on keeping prayer simple, Pete shares,

But the thing is this: He like us. A lot. God wants to spend time with us even more than we want to spend time with him. This is a mind-blowing truth. It means that whenever you make the effort to approach the Lord in prayer, he’s already waiting there for you with a smile.

Beautiful, right? God is already there waiting for us. He’s not bored, tired, too busy, or taking a nap. God is expectantly waiting for us to pray, to worship, to praise and rejoice. God is waiting for us and smiling upon us as we begin to connect with God through our actions, activities, rest, and stillness.

What would it look like for us to expect God to show up? Advent is a season of expectation. Advent is the church season where we prepare for Jesus to come again as the Christ child. Advent is the season where we prepare our hearts for Christmas and expect to find God at work in our minds, hearts, and lives.

I think both Pete Grieg and Bishop Lillibridge are reminding us that at the heart of who God is, God is love. And God, above anything else, wants a deep and abiding friendship with us. Relationship, friendship with God is why we are created. So, of course, we should expect to see, feel, hear, and experience God in the world around us. We can expect God to show up at church, through one another, when we serve, or listen to music, when we take a walk around our neighborhood, or while watching the sun rise or sun set.

In this new church year, at this, the beginning of Advent, I pray we can bless ourselves with the habit expectation. Asking ourselves before worship, “I wonder how God will speak to me today in worship?” will surely bless us. Perhaps we can even take this question a step farther and say, “I wonder how God will speak to me today?”

May God bless us with open ears, eyes, minds, and hearts as we look expectantly at God’s coming into our lives to share a word of love with us.

God’s peace, love, and Blessings,

Pictures from St. Nick’s Day with Bishop Lillibridge and confirmation!