Central

Address

6 West Dickson Street
Fayetteville, AR 72701

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Service Times

Sunday 8:30 AM

Sunday 9:30 AM

Sunday 10:45 AM

Contact

(479) 442-4237

Genesis

Address

205 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Fayetteville, AR 72701

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Sunday 9:00 AM

Sunday 10:45 AM

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(479) 442-1827

UA Wesley

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520 N. Lindell Avenue
Fayetteville, AR 72701

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Service Times

Tuesday 8:00 PM

Wednesday 12:00 PM

Thursday 11:30 AM

Thursday 6:30 PM

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(479)-442-1820

Central UMC Blog

A Thrill of Hope

Posted by Dr. Jan Davis on

What are you hoping for this Christmas? The season of Advent is the season of hope. We live in a world desperate for hope. Advent (the four Sundays before Christmas) prepares us for the celebration of the true meaning of Christmas the coming of Jesus Christ. Advent is a time of expectancy when we prepare our hearts to find the greatest gift of the season - Jesus Christ born anew in our hearts. We have an extravagantly generous God who loves the created world so much he freely gave his only Son to us. For those who believe in Jesus, we will not perish but are promised the hope of forgiveness, eternal salvation, and everlasting life. We experience God’s constant presence, power, and love through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. We celebrate Christ’s coming each Christmas and wait expectantly for Christ’s promised return.

The world around us often seems very dark. Daily news reports are filled with disaster, tragedy, violence, hatred, and evil. In our nation, we witness increasing division, discord, corruption, and sin. Our friends and loved ones struggle with many challenges, illness, grief, pain, and loss. In all these things and all the shrouded darkness of the world, the light of Jesus Christ comes. You cannot stop the light of Christ.

The month of December is the darkest time of the calendar year. The days are short as the sun sets early in the evening. Darkness comes early and stays long. During Advent, we light candles on an Advent wreath in the Sunday worship service. We begin the first week with a wreath that is completely empty and dark. What a powerful symbol to represent the spiritual emptiness and grim darkness of our world. We light one candle and observe how the light begins to dispel the darkness. We wait with hope and anticipation for the next week when another candle is lit and then another. The light grows stronger, the darkness wanes and our hope strengthens. So it is in our lives, as we invite Christ to come into our hearts and lives. Jesus brings healing, joy, and peace into our lives and dispels worry, fear and despair. Hope in Christ and invite his blessed holy light to shine on you.

On Christmas Eve, we gather to light the final candle, the Christ Candle. Hallelujah! Jesus Christ is born. At the Christmas Eve candlelight service, the light of Jesus Christ is passed to each person’s candle and the worship space glows with shimmery warmth and beauty. Jesus said he is the Light of the World! Jesus told us that we also are the light of the world. We go into the world’s darkness to shine the light of Jesus Christ.

John 1: 3-5

All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Our Advent Sermon Series, A Thrill of Hope, begins Sunday, December 3 and continues through Christmas Eve Sunday, December 24.

-Dr. Jan Davis
Your Senior Pastor

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