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At first it might have seemed like a chance encounter. I was a student at the Seminary and while I was there Janice and I met by the fountain in front of the library. Indeed it pays to study. That so called chance encounter was one that changed the rest of our lives. We may not have realized it at the time but we had just met our future spouse. Our lives would be joined together and our futures were now set on a new path. Perhaps you can think of encounters you have had in your life that have changed you in some dramatic way. Maybe it was the day you met your spouse.

This month I would like to consider some other so called chance encounters in your life. Our theme for this season is Encounters with Advent and Christmas. In each of our special Wednesday Advent services we will consider an encounter someone had with the Advent (arrival) of Jesus. We will consider such encounters that took place in the lives of neighbors, family, government officials, fellow citizens, relatives, shepherds and others.

As these people were going about life they had an encounter with their savior that would affect the rest of their lives and all eternity. Join us as we will consider these exciting stories and the effect it has upon our lives. The Wednesday Advent services will take place on December 6,13 and 20 at 7:00 pm. On Sunday, December 24 we will have our regular 9:00 am service followed later that afternoon with our special Christmas Eve service at 4:00 pm. There will also be a special service on Christmas Day, December 25, at 9:00 am. Each one of these services are opportunities for you to have an encounter with the Advent (arrival) of Jesus into your life.

The encounters with Advent and Christmas are not something that is just a thing of the past. We today are blessed as we experience our own encounters with Advent and the arrival of Jesus in our lives. We may not always notice them or we might ignore them but they are-no less real. Because of the encounters we have with Jesus our lives are changed both now and eternally. Jesus came into this world for that purpose.  Had He not arrived in this world and our lives we would have been lost for eternity. But Jesus arrived in human flesh to take our place under the law and pay the price of our sin upon the cross. Even after death the risen Jesus still interacts with us and bring to us the promise of the resurrection. We can also say that others may have an encounter with Jesus through us making it possible that their lives would be changed both now in this world and for all eternity.

When Janice and I first met we were both going about our lives but at that moment those lives were changed. It is the same way with the Advent of Jesus. We and others may be going about our ordinary lives but then suddenly Jesus arrives and our lives and the lives of others are changed for all eternity. It is one of the exciting things about our days. You never know when such an encounter will happen. Watch for those encounters with the Advent of Jesus in your life and that of others. Join us for this series and become all the more aware of such encounters and be sure to share with me and one another your experiences and encounters with Jesus. Do so for these encounters are not by chance but by Divine design.

Pastor Schoenfeld