Christmas Greeting

Christmas Greetings from the Executive Committee

The AICEME Executive Committee wishes all AICEME pastors and their church communities a peaceful Christmas and a healthy transition into 2021.

We look forward to the day that we can connect with one another in person again. In the meantime, we hope that you feel encouraged by the below devotional, written by Chris Peterson (Stockholm), about creating space for our sadness and continuing to put our hope in the Lord.

In Christ,

Mark Vermaire (President), Paul McMinimy (Vice-President), Hanna Peterson (Secretary), Eric Ohlund (Treasurer) and Jennifer Mills-Knutsen (At Large-Member)

I wait for the Lord – an Advent devotional

Dear brothers and sisters,

This season will surely be different for all of us in some way. Each of us is living with some sense of loss and looking to God to lead us through. As we feel what we feel together it is good for us to name our sadness and to bring it out into the open before God. Sometimes in the church we have a hard time giving space for grief and sadness to be named in the community. It can feel like somehow we are doubting God, and not exercising our faith. We feel we should keep our chin up and hold it together. 

But our Scriptures are full of people just like you and me, who found themselves waiting on God in difficult times. They spoke about it out loud and in the worshipping community. The Psalmist prays and sings to God, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord hear my voice!” He brings it all out before the Lord; nothing is held back. Israel as a people, collectively brought their deepest sorrows, hopes and dreams before the Lord trusting that God is attentive and listening. It is no mistake that our Bible is filled with voices that cry out to the Lord and clearly name what hurts and what is broken in us and our world. It is a first step in embracing what is real in us, and around us. We invite God into our reality, to do what God longs to do and that is to be with us, to join in our life as it is and infuse it with his love, his healing and his power for living.  

Perhaps a good Advent practice this year would be to write in a journal what you are feeling, inviting God to meet you in that place. Or perhaps to speak with your children about what feels sad for you, and allow them to share what feels sad for them. Or to share with a friend or spouse. There is something powerful that can happen in us and our community when we are vulnerable with each other. We discover that we are not alone. God is with us, we are connected in our shared weakness and dependence on God. God’s power, as the Apostle Paul discovered so powerfully in his life, is made perfect in weakness.

Psalm 130, continues, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope…..O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.”

Dear brothers and sisters, let us hope in the Lord together this season. God is with us, and God will never let us go. May the love of Christ dwell deep in our hearts through faith as we wait for His coming. 

Chris Peterson

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