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As With Gladness

This first Sunday of Advent sometimes sneaks up on us, doesn't it? Having just recovered from the feasting of Thanksgiving, we gathered this Lord's Day past and it was that first Christmasy hymn that ushered in the new season.  We celebrate Advent to proclaim the good news of God's love and salvation, to remind ourselves and our friends of all that is true of Christ and why the earth and man desperately need his peace. We long for his presence, we hope for peace in every relationship, and we ache for relief from all sickness, sin, heartache, and death. As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold;  as with joy they hailed its light, leading onward, beaming bright; so most gracious God, may we evermore be led to thee. The Latin adventus  has rich connotations of arrival and coming , but it can also refer to an invasion ,  incursion or an appearance . What power and beauty this can be as we gather each week and sing, hear the word preached, enjoy communion with God

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