In Joyful Expectation

A song was heard at Christmas
To wake the midnight sky
A Saviour’s birth and peace on earth
And praise to God on high.
The Angels sang at Christmas
With all the hosts above
And still we sing the newborn King
His glory and His love.

This poem by Timothy Dudley-Smith is a song of joy. As we celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus, “joy” follows along the Sunday celebrations of Advent after the Sundays of “hope” and “peace.”

The shepherds marvelled as the angels sang and quickly ran off to see this newborn King. They spread the news of Jesus’ birth with joy. For Mary and Joseph, however, along with joy, the arrival of this Child brought danger, unexpected travel plans, perhaps even confusion. For Mary, she was to learn the grief and then the inexpressible joy of as she watched her son and Saviour follow His heavenly Father’s will.

As we follow Jesus, we experience many similar emotions and situations. Change comes as The Holy Spirit of Jesus works within and among us, along side the teaching of the written word, to lead us into new territory and in different directions.

For the Renewal Fellowship, we are mindful that things don’t always “stay the same.” As our churches have struggled and faced change post-pandemic, so too has the Renewal Fellowship. As the board of Renewal Fellowship, we find that we will have to do things differently. Our new direction will focus more on a publication that will highlight pastoral and theological issues. While change can be unsettling, change can also bring new energy and creativity. And, as always, we are assured of God’s presence and guidance as we follow in obedience to His promptings. And then — the joy!

As we trust and obey, we experience His peace and joy. We continue to teach and make disciples, but through a different format. We are grateful at Renewal Fellowship for the willingness of its staff and board to risk to venture in a different way. Please pray with us, that as we discern where God is leading, we will continue to be an encouragement to His faithful people.

Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the magi all experienced the wonder and joy at the arrival of Jesus, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, come in human form as a vulnerable baby. I pray that we all, with them, will experience the wonder and joy of Jesus’ presence as we follow what seems to be an uncertain path into an unknown future. We are always assured of Immanuel, God with us.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15: 13

 In Joyful Expectation,
Sandy Copland-Dufour
Board Chairperson

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