A brief reflection from our E3 Reference group member, Laura Wiebe,

as we gratefully accept the gift of

Advent Resources:  Restoration is Near


As I opened our Leader resources for advent, I was greeted with this statement:

Advent and Christmas are active seasons. Advent itself means “coming.” The primary actor is God, emptying Godself and being born in human likeness. But humans have their share of action in the stories surrounding Christ’s birth: angel visits, travel, pilgrimage, and escape. And we are active in our time too: longing, seeking, reconciling. In these weeks of Advent and Christmas, together we will cry out for restoration. We will watch for restoration to take place among us. We will join in the restoration process with all creation.

What an exciting proclamation!  Immanuel, God with us!  And we are part of God’s good plan for restoration!  To me, this is just a rewording of the E3 Year 3 statement:  encountering, embracing, embodying Christ in the world—what an opportunity for us to acknowledge and actively engage in both recognizing God in our world and being agents of God’s healing and hope in our world.

During this advent season we will be encouraged and challenged to live into a process of restoration.  We know that our God is a God of rebirth, renewal, reconciliation, redemption; of hope, healing, shalom and relationship.  How blessed are we to be called into the work of this kind of Kingdom?  What great things does God have for us to experience and to participate in?  In whose eyes will we see Christ this advent?  To whom will we extend a hand to?  In what new way will we hear the voice of Christ?  How will the Holy Spirit move in our hearts and lives and in those around us?  Will we have quieted ourselves enough to see and hear and just be, in all of the hustle?  Will we accept the broken parts of ourselves and others and extend grace and forgiveness?  Can we imagine what a world looks where Christ is King and we are restored?  How can we hold that hope in front of us and actively engage in the building of that future?

The two scriptures that the resources are based on speak to me of both intervention (we cannot do it alone) and participation (we are essential to it):

  • Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved. — Psalm 80: 3
  • Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. — James 5: 8

It is our prayer that God both blesses us and enables us to bless others throughout this advent season.  God be with you, may you experience and share God’s healing and restorative nature.


And a second Bonus:

A delightful little story, created by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Brother Heinrich's Christmas