Advent begins tomorrow! Are you ready?
We are so glad you've chosen to join us on this Advent journey as we #pictureAdvent for another season.
Advent is one of those seasons that is easy to make lots of plans for, but then end up forgetting ... or ignoring ... the plans you've made! There is so much going on all around us, we forget the entire point of the season.
I'm one of those people who gets a little obnoxious about the "Advent is not Christmas" debate each year - any of my friends can tell you! I love our Christian traditions, and our tradition builds in this time for us to grow in anticipation as we look toward such an important celebration in the life of the church!
And we miss out on that sometimes. How long ago did we start seeing Christmas candy and decor in the supermarket? How long have Christmas decorations been up in stores around town? We've lost that sense of anticipation and waiting that this season has always been about.
So I encourage you, as you #pictureAdvent with us this year, to find something you're going to save for Christmas. I'm not going to ask you to turn the Christmas music off in the car (in fact, most stations actually STOP playing Christmas music once Christmas actually begins on December 25!). I'm not going to say don't put the tree up this weekend (if you haven't already!). But what is a Christmas tradition that you will appreciate even more this year if you choose to wait for it until Christmas?
What if you waited to put baby Jesus in the manger until Christmas morning? What if you wait to put the tree topper on until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? What if you even waited till Epiphany to open presents? (I know - that one is a stretch!)
This year, we hope that #pictureAdvent will be an experience that helps you embody the meaning of this season - the anticipation and excitement that JESUS is COMING! We hope there will be anticipation as you participate in our family ADVENTure to Christmas, or look in excitement for a photo to share with today's theme word, or open each email devotion with a new energy each day of Advent.
We're praying for you, because you've chosen to live into the Hope that God has placed in our hearts and lives, Hope that something good is coming, even when it may not feel like it. That good thing is Jesus. But sometimes we have to wait. And it's always better to do that together. So glad to be on this journey with you.
Rev. Melissa Cooper