Dear Trinity Family,

It is the season of Advent - a time of preparing, a time of waiting, and a time of longing.  Each year I am asked multiple times, “Pastor do we have to sing those Advent (said with a grimace on their face) hymns again?  Why can’t we just sing the Christmas hymns?  My beloved church family there is a reason for the season of Advent.  Our church year identifies a rhythm in our lives as faithful people but also helps us acknowledge God’s faithfulness throughout the ages by helping us tell God’s story and connect it to ours. 

Advent is a time of waiting, watching, longing.  We join in the story of faithful people over the ages waiting and longing for the coming of the Messiah.  We mark this time in our worship to acknowledge our need for God and our trust for God’s presence even in the midst of the dark and gloominess of the season and even the darkness of our lives. 

Over that last couple weeks, I have been reflecting about the season of Advent and the events in the news.  Many of you have asked the questions about where was God in the midst of the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I would like to share an email correspondence I had this past month with one of our members…


            “If God sees overall, is beneficent, is all controlling, how can God let this happen?  I am  questioning a merciful, caring, all-seeing God.  I see a God of fear, a mean God,  Not one of beneficence.  That is what I see.  Please explain this to me.” 

            My response:

“ My heart aches, as well for those lives who have been lost, the families  and the     congregation whose lives have been changed forever.  I believe God’s heart is weeping  too and I cant help but believe that God is outraged and as saddened as we are. 

Events like this force us to face the reality of the brokenness in our world caused by sin.  We live in a broken fallen world as the result of sin ours and others and both impact our daily lives.  Times like this we also find ourselves wrestling with questions like: Where was God?  Why didn't God do anything to prevent this?  and I believe this wrestling  invites us to get know God more deeply. 

            God’s loves God’s creation so much.  God created us to be in relationship with God and desires to be in relationship with us.  But this relationship is one of love not of manipulation or force.  In other words,  God doesn't make us puppets with God as a  puppet master and therefore we have the ability to choose good or evil.  The hard truth s when we choose evil people get hurt and unfortunately even innocent people.  God was angered and grieved that day but God was not absent - God was active and present  that day.   For those who died God’s love was active having conquering death and the  devil bring them into the fullness of life with God.  For those who were hurt, God was and continues to be with them and their families.  For those who need comfort, God is providing comfort.   For those of us who are angry, I think God is stirring in us an urgency and awareness of the brokenness in our world.   I believe this senseless tragedy caused by evil - can be a calling to the church… to be church to love and serve our neighbor all the more.  

I think in the United States, we have been lulled into a false sense of security and have  forgotten the story of Christianity is laden with persecution…. requiring many to step out  in faith and even at the cost of their own lives.  I give thanks to God we do not live in  times like that but these events shake us and we mourn the loss of the world security we  thought we had in the sanctity of our churches and once again we are called back to our dependence on God. 

So we repent… we turn to God and cry for peace, for hope, and guidance.  We give     thanks for the those who intervened and the helpers… and we seek how God wants us to respond living our lives as faith in our circles of the world.    And we join together longing  for a Messiah. 

So this Advent season, let us join together in this time to intentionally honor our longing for Christ to come again.  We wait, we long, we prepare and strive to live our lives faithfully.  Knowing in the midst of our brokenness, in our imperfections,  God claims us as beloved Children of God and in our baptism calls us to be workers in God’s kingdom sharing the light of God’s love in the midst of the darkness.   So let’s not rush too quickly to the light and joy of Christmas … let’s honor those who have been touched so deeply by the brokenness of the events of the past year… and let’s hope and wait with one another in the longing of coming our Messiah. 


Peace and hope to you as we wait…

Pastor Krista

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