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Perhaps you don't think much about a new year because life just goes on as it always has. Perhaps the extra eating, lack of routine, and money spent over the holidays has you longing for order. Perhaps you look at the new year as a chance to improve. Perhaps you look at a new year with an attitude of defeat as you consider all that is going wrong in your life or in the world. Perhaps this new year brings about some regret for all the ways you didn't change last year or the failures that you see. Perhaps this new year brings about a anxiousness and fear of the unknown. Or perhaps you are an optimist and have high hopes and expectations for this year and have joy and confidence as you think about it. I relate with pretty much all of these thoughts. I expect that life will march on much the same as it has yet I do long for more order and improvement and, I am tempted to worry about what this year may hold. I am not much of an optimist but I know that I can face this new year with joy and confidence no matter what my own thoughts and fears may be.

"I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." (2 Timothy 4:1��"4, ESV)

Advent is a season where we look back, consider how it must have been for the people of God as they waited for the promised salvation of God, not knowing what to expect. And at the same time, we celebrate by looking back to the child who was born, the one who came as the Light in a world of darkness and brought redemption and freedom and victory to his people. And at the same time, Advent is also a season of looking ahead with great expectation, and preparing ourselves to meet Jesus at his Second Coming.