“Now, master, let your servant go in peace according to your word,
because my eyes have seen your salvation.
You prepared this salvation in the presence of all peoples.
It’s a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and a glory for your people Israel.” – Simeon: Luke 2:29-32
Yesterday – Sunday, December 2 – was just about the perfect juxtaposition of ancient and modern, First Century and Twenty-first, origin and fruition.
- In the morning, in two services – both contemporary and traditional – several hundred 21st-Century Christians gathered together at WFPC to celebrate the beginning of Advent, the promise of Jesus. We came to worship God, to learn, and to encourage one another in our lives as followers of The Living Way.
- Later, over the course of four busy hours that evening, more than sixteen hundred pilgrim visitors made their way through our campus to walk through the story of Christ’s coming as a baby, born to a migrant family harassed by an oppressive regime.
It was, in a sense, two millennia of Christian expression compressed into one day.
Miraculously, even though Saturday’s heavy rains canceled our biggest night, almost 3,100 visitors showed up at our church over the weekend, patiently waiting to hear and engage The Greatest Story Ever Told, and to capture something of the light and promise that first infiltrated this world two-thousand years ago when heaven came down and glory spilled into the human experience in unprecedented fashion.
When light and promise infiltrated this world, when heaven came down, and when glory spilled into the human experience…
This is why Sunday mornings are so vibrant and alive here at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church. It’s not us, it’s the authenticity of our story. As the preacher, all Rebekah has to do is to highlight what is already real, point to the truth, and to reflect the veracity of light and promise as it is constantly expressed in the lives and the witness of the people we love and serve.
We are simply a bunch of regular, struggling, honest-to-goodness human beings engaged in this great adventure of following Jesus.
But, it is no great distance from First-Century Bethlehem to Wake Forest Presbyterian Church because it is that same Jesus, that same story, that same Spirit of power and purpose, that same God of light and promise who meets us every week when we gather for worship, and that same untamed life that lives in us and works through us from day-to-day during the week.
This is the first week of Advent, friends! It is a beautiful road we are traveling and a rich journey of faith and hope during these few weeks leading up to Christmas.
Shalom – peace – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.