Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Advent and Encouragement

I love Advent.  I love telling the Gospel story from Creation to Christ.  I  love the read and meditate on Gods interaction with his people Israel and their responses (both the good and the bad) to Gods Gospel story.  I love to hear about the promises of God that remind me that he is intimately involved and refuses to leave us to our own devices.

I love that one candle a week is lit.  The slowly lit wreath keeps me focused because like many of you I want what I want, when I want it, and that usually means now.  Advent is such a different pace from the Christmas culture around us, that if you actually follow Advent people will wonder what is going on with you.  To slowly, deeply, and contemplatively ponder the hope of God in Christ is an exercise that cannot be rushed.

This year I will actually spend a portion of the Advent season in Israel and more specifically a day in Bethlehem.  I am especially looking forward to that moment.  I realize there is nothing similar about modern Bethlehem to Mary and Josephs visit but it will be neat to think about Micah 5:2-5 while there.  I plan on blogging a little of my travels even if they are only a few simple sentences.  So if you interested check back often the second week of Advent to follow the journey with me.

There is something different about this year that a friend pointed out to me.  This will be the first time in a decade when I am not on a church staff walking with a congregation through Advent.  This season is filled with special events, musicals, and celebrations in the life of a church.  My new role allows me to engage it differently for the first time in a while. He encourage me to engage in renewing activities with family and friends.  I plan on doing my best to apply his advice for there are few "down times" in the ministry setting I am now in.

If you are looking for some Advent advice or would like to learn what it is all about use some of the links below.  Blessings.


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