Oh my goodness, is it Advent already? No sooner have we cleared away the Thanksgiving dishes and finished off the leftover turkey than we embark on this holy time of preparation for the coming of Emmanuel – God with us. This Sunday, we will mark the beginning of the Advent season with our annual Advent Fair during coffee hour after the 11am service. There will be tables filled with refreshments, interactive crafts, and lots of fun. Then at 5pm, the service of Advent Lessons & Carols returns with readings of the prophecies of the coming of Christ, followed by a reception in the back of the church. There is lots of festivity in store for all ages this Sunday, so please join us for as much of it as you can.
All of this fun and festivity is wonderful, and heaven knows, we could all use some lighthearted merriment these days. Still, we should keep in mind that Advent is not a season of celebration, but a time of preparation and expectation for the coming celebration of our Lord’s nativity on Christmas Day. During Advent, we wait and we watch and we prepare for his coming. What does that preparation look like for you?
In his Letter to the Romans (13:11-14), Paul describes this time as like waking up from sleep and putting on a new set of clothes. “Lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light,” Paul writes. And then he goes a step further: “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Paul may seem to be throwing cold water on all our fun, but actually, he’s calling us to something greater, a joy that lasts, a peace that passes all understanding. On any ordinary day, we wake up and put on clothes that are appropriate for where we are and what we have planned for the day ahead. Today, it might be a business suit, tomorrow it might be shorts and a T-shirt. So too, Paul says, the spiritual clothes we put on will equip us for this new world we are awaking into. We are literally to become like Christ – to wear him like a comfortable set of clothes as we go out into the world. It is no small task to select our wardrobe for this Advent season, but as followers of Jesus that is what we are called to do. So, as we join in the holiday festivities this year and don our holiday attire, let’s not forget to put on our Jesus clothes to bring his Gospel of love to the world.