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Advent Reflection 3

Thursday, December 14, 2017 by Fr. Mark in Blog&Christian Spirituality
As the third Sunday of Advent approaches, I am mindful of the invitation that comes with it. Traditionally, it is the Sunday of Joy, for we reflect with joy over the way that God has rescued his people and his world. We consider what it means to focus on joy in the here and now in our lives, as well. To that end a challenge comes to us. As St. Paul wrote, “Rejoice always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5: 16-18) This is an attitude choice of faith and perspective.

We will all go through challenges and difficulties– some of them very great, including death of loved ones, job losses, poor health and unfulfilled dreams. Yet, the invitation of Advent’s Joy is to “believe” anyway. We choose by faith, by perspective, by ascent of our wills to see that which we do possess, those who do love us, and how God does provide for us, whether in life contexts of of plenty or want.
“Do not quench the Spirit,” Paul goes on to write (v. 19). Therein lies an important faith clue. The Holy Spirit is the person of God residing within you, and with the power and peace of his presence comes the ability to spiritually discern your choice over what may give you cause to rejoice, to pray, and to give thanks. The Spirit empowers you to do this.
In times of the death of loved ones, I have been thankful for the support and compassion of friends who have comforted and served me and my family and whose private prayers “carried us” in a grievous season.
In times of challenging health issues, I have shifted into continuous prayer and been able to rejoice and give thanks for dozens of people who daily upheld me in prayer which led to the break-through for which I longed– giving me yet more occasion to rejoice and give thanks.
In times of waiting for mission desires, plans and goals to be realized, I can count with thanks the faces and names of those who have become partners in life and in ministry along the way of our journey.
We can always choose thanks and joy.
Perhaps it is God’s will for us to choose to see the abundance of what He provides so our eyes are fixed on Him and our mission-direction forward in life rather than having our focus shift to, and be fixed upon, that which we lack?  One choice leads us in relational harmony with God, who we see as our Helper, Comforter, Guide and Father. The other choice leads us to think, “Why don’t I have this? Why is God holding out on me?” In the latter case, in short order God becomes someone less trusted or untrusted, and someone whose character appears to be questionable. You will face this temptation frequently. Choose to believe. Choose rejoicing.
Grace & Peace,

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About Our Church

Anglican Mission logoChrist The King Anglican Church embodies the Three Streams of the historic Christian Church: The Scripture (Evangelical stream), The Sacred (the Sacramental stream) and The Spirit (the Charismatic stream).   We are happy to belong to The Anglican Mission: A Society of Mission and Apostolic Works. The Mission.  The Mission began in December 1999, and it has been the leader in establishing new churches and ministries in an Anglican heritage across North America. In recent years, The Mission has grown to include many overseas works, including The Anglican Mission: India.

We’re committed to believe and trust Jesus Christ, to be directed by His Spirit, and to trust in His Holy Scripture as our standard in matters of faith and practice. Everyone who is at Christ the King now was once a visitor and decided to make this his or her church home. We hope you will consider making the same decision! If you are interested in church membership or more information, please call the church office at (408) 770-2260.


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