Songs of the Season: Hope

By Rev. Kay Dubuisson

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1: 1-5

As we step into the sacred season of Advent and eagerly await the arrival of Christmas, I’d like to share with you some thoughts on what this season means to me.

Firstly, there’s something magical about the simple joy of enjoying warm Christmas cookies straight from the oven. The serene winter landscape is best appreciated when snow covers the grass but not the roads, which hasn't happened yet in New Jersey in 2023.

I strongly believe that the most important things in life have a way of falling into place. A good cup of coffee and/or tea has the ability to ignite delightful conversations, enabling individuals to get to know each other on a deeper level.

On a deeper note, I deeply believe in the goodness of people’s hearts and their innate desire to be generous. It’s the small, thoughtful gestures that often leave the most lasting impressions. Building meaningful connections with others is invaluable, and a bit of laughter at our own expense can go a long way in easing life’s stresses. A wealth of untapped dreams awaits those with the wisdom to pursue them.

As I reflect on my personal beliefs, I hold an unwavering faith in the constant presence of God. I find evidence of God’s presence in the everyday miracles surrounding us and the unbreakable love that binds my family. I feel truly blessed to be involved in ministry with the amazing individuals at The Mark, and my belief in God is the foundation of my unwavering belief in love.

Reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas, I am inspired by these beliefs that guide me. I’m reminded of the profound story of a small baby born to show us the extent of God’s love. This child grew into a man, taught, preached, healed, and performed miracles that demonstrated divine power. Jesus was Emmanuel, meaning “God with us,” and his ultimate sacrifice on the cross holds immense significance for our sins. Thanks to Jesus, each day can be a celebration of renewed life and love.

As the holiday season unfolds, I encourage you, your family, and friends to take a moment to share your beliefs. Engage in worship, fill the air with the melodies of Christmas carols, and revisit the timeless tale of the first Christmas. May the hope, peace, joy, and love emanating from the Good News of Christ’s birth enrich your celebrations. As you begin the New Year, remember that God is with you every step of the way.

Prayer: Dear God, we thank you for the gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love. Help us to remember these treasures during this busy season. We choose to have faith in your promises and live for your glory. Amen.

Sharing a New Song: Emmanuel God With Us
From the mountain’s edge to the valley low
When the river’s wild and the sea billows roll
From your perfect presence, I cannot escape
You're ever with me I trust your name

Emmanuel, God with us
In day or darkness, Lord, you are here
Emmanuel, God with us
I need you, Jesus so draw me near

You’re the purest joy in the shadows deep
So my soul will sing when I find no melody
From your perfect presence I cannot escape
You're ever with me I trust your name

My heart and flesh may fail you but God you never will You are my strength and shield my portion forever.
Songwriter: Brett Land, Chris Collins, Aaron Ivey
Performed by Austin Stone





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