By Tony Tench

John Donne was an early 17th century priest in the Anglican church who exhibited such insightful skill through his poetry. I am always impressed by the way his turn of phrase makes me think more deeply into the meaning of spiritual life.  With the season of Advent approaching this week, I am reminded of this line from his poem Wilt thou love God, as he thee?:

‘Twas much that man

was made like God,

long before.

But that God should

be made like man,

much more.

This is, sure enough, the reason we celebrate with such enthusiasm during the Advent season.  Sure, the scripture has declared that we humans have been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and that our design is a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5).  We are fearfully and wonderfully made by God (Psalm 139:14).  We ought not ever take for granted the designer of the universe thinking to create us with such intention to make it possible for us to commune and communicate with him.

But, oh my goodness, the gift that is Advent!

“Advent” is a word derived from the Latin word “coming.”  It is the season of the year during which we praise God for his coming as a human being to walk among us, to understand us, and to give himself for us.  The Gospel writer put it this way, “The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  So with the birth of Jesus….

But that God should

be make like man, 

much more.

Much more indeed!  It is simply impossible to comprehend a gift greater than the God of all creation humbling himself to become part of the creation. Why do that?  Except that he loves us.

So, this Advent at First Baptist Church, we will be celebrating this good news by reminding ourselves that the God who has come to us and become one of us is also the God who has gone before us to experience all that we ever will have to go through during this life’s pilgrimage.

That means that God is always one step ahead of our problems, our fears, and our struggles so that we can count on him being there to bear us up by his love, peace, hope and joy!

I am looking forward to the Season and I hope you will bless us by being a part of the Body of Christ at worship together!


Advent Worship:

December 3      Hanging of the Green led by FBC Youth

December 10     Parade of International Flags as we pray for missions AND Heartsong Children’s Choirs sing

December 17     Christmas Cantata — Peace Has Come — performed by our FBC Sanctuary Choir combined with the Choir from Boiling Springs Baptist Church at 9:00 AM followed by Festive Holiday Fare and Fellowship in the Breezeway.

December 24     Advent Morning Worship at 9:30 AM in the Sanctuary and then, a FBC family tradition, Christmas Eve Candlelight and Communion Service at 6:00 PM (preludes begin at 5:45 PM)

December 31     Student Day at Christmas will follow the Advent Season with worship led by College and Grad School Students who will be home for the holidays!