Home Ministries About Us Calendar News Prayer Request Location/Map Pastor's Message


From the Pastor’s Heart






                                                               “Jesus Will Come Again”
In a picture, I saw a man sitting on a busy street in a market place. There he sat as people were hustling and bustling all around him. There on his little cart was a large sign which said, “The Lord Jesus Christ Will Return!” The truth of the matter is that this man’s sign provides the key message of Advent. “The Lord Jesus Christ Will Return!”
Advent has been a focused time at the beginning of the Christian year to contemplate, anticipate and respond to this great truth. It is the time of the year we do so. But when I looked at the picture, no one was paying attention to this man’s sign except the photographer. Everyone else is walking by as if the sign means nothing. The sign is there, yes, but it makes no difference in the peoples’ lives. Well, at least not that April day at this market place in Norwich, England in 2010.
Advertisers and even Christian publishers promoting Advent have made it into just an extended Pre-Christmas season in which it is used as a worship prop for the month of December. However, when this is the focus, we keep Advent from making a difference in our lives as a congregation.
Absolutely, the birth of Jesus matters, but we cannot leave Him lying in the Manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, in a stable in Bethlehem of Judea, because His birth means so much more. You see children of God, what matters most about Jesus’ birth in Christmastide is what the incarnation of God in Jesus begins to unleash in the cosmos (the world), starting here on earth with us. In John’s gospel, we find these words, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Therefore, as we enter this glorious Advent season, let us not get side tracked by the world’s theological definition of Advent and Christmas, which is selfish commercialism. But, let us savor the real meaning of Advent as we worship and celebrate the Incarnate/Glorified Christ, remembering that “The Lord Jesus Christ Will Return!”

Jesus, Our Advent,
Reverend Shirley Williams-Hayes





Copyright © 2011- St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church , 795 S Fourth Avenue – Bartow, FL 33830