A Message from Pastor Brandon | December 2023

Hello Church Family,

O come, O come, Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear

This Advent Season we follow alongside churches across our globe in looking to Christmas through the prophetic words of Isaiah as he speaks to a nation in exile. A nation of Israel that endured the immediate and all-encompassing stripping of their way of life as the Babylonian army came swiftly and without mercy, to destroy their city and carry them off into slavery. In a moment all that these people had known was different… thinking, “would it ever again be like it once was?”

For those who have been a part of Harrisburg UMC for many years, this year has shared some of those same feelings. Our church family looks much different. We’ve elevated new leaders. We’ve been adapting to find a way through uncharted territory. All the while wondering, “will what was ever be again?”

The prophet Isaiah speaks into this desperation in Isaiah 64 as he says to God, “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down…” GOD. COME. DOWN. See your people and meet us in the wake of what has happened. We’re tired of talking and debating the “how” and the “why”... We just want you.

As we prepare ourselves for Advent, I invite you to remember the wonderful ways that God has been moving in these last 5 months. Making a way before us and leading us into something much greater than before.

In this season, I invite us all to take the postures of Advent: anticipation for what God might do in and through our lives this year, preparation to ensure that we’re ready for it when it comes, and patient and intentional waiting… for the Lord is coming.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel

Pastor Brandon Dunham

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