Advent has arrived quietly amid the fan fair of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Black Friday specials (as well as Blacker Thursday?).
Are you as pastors anticipating something exciting, something new, something fresh, something life changing this Advent? I pray you are full of anticipation and not dropping back into an old habit of simply pulling out the decorations, dusting off the Advent Wreath and finding left over pieces of purple candles.
Advent is a time to prepare for the Christ event like never before. It is a time to help your congregations discover the hope they are longing for each day.
I want to encourage you to take time for you this Advent to get ready by waiting and watching. I want to encourage you to look beyond the wonder of the Christmas season to the promise of God that Christ will come and Christ will fulfill God's holy plans to beat the swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. This Advent allow God's Holy Spirit to move over you; your heart, mind and soul and give to you a glimpse of the Mountain of the Lord.
It's all about hope my friends. Don't give up hope and don't miss the opportunity to offer hope to your sisters and brothers this season with the love of the One to come.
P. S. What a high honor I had on Sunday teaching Sunday School to many of the retired faculty of Candler School of Theology! I taught the New Class at Glenn Memorial UMC and was so blessed by the affirmation and warmth of my professors and others who make up that class. These are blessed mentors and giants of the faith and I am humbled to have shared with them. It was a great blessing to hear Alice Rogers preach and lead all present into the Advent Season.