Friday, December 4, 2009

Advent: Prepare for Jesus' Coming, Part 1

We have an interesting opportunity in front of us this month.

We can anticipate Jesus’ coming through Advent: which literally means to “Prepare for his Coming.” Advent moves from the Sunday after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day, and then the 12 days following Christmas are Epiphany, a time of growth as we reflect on what Jesus birth brings us.

The second part to Advent this year is also anticipation of what a new decade will bring. Think back to year 2,000. How different was your life? What were you doing? What stage was your family in? How much technology did you own? How much did you know about Muslims and the Middle East?

This month is a gift to us in many ways. It’s a chance for us to reflect on the past 10 years and to anticipate and prepare for the next decade. We have a choice whether to let it just happen, or whether to reflect and consider how we want to live for the next 10.

Time Magazine had an interesting article this week called “The Decade from Hell” as they wrote about this decade. Read the introduction here:

The dreaded millennial meltdown never happened. Instead, it was the American Dream that was about to dim. Bookended by 9/11 at the start and a financial wipeout at the end, the first 10 years of this century will very likely go down as the most dispiriting and disillusioning decade Americans have lived through in the post–World War II era. We're still weeks away from the end of '09, but it's not too early to pass judgment. Call it the Decade from Hell, or the Reckoning, or the Decade of Broken Dreams, or the Lost Decade. Call it whatever you want — just give thanks that it is nearly over.

Read more: CLICK HERE

Take some time this week to reflect on what the past 10 years have included for you. Perhaps you didn’t have such a hard experience as the Time writer describes, or maybe as you read the whole article you can identify and relate to almost everything written in it.

What was positive for you?

What were your challenges?

How was God be faithful to you?

How has your faith grown and developed?

After you have taken time to reflect on the past, turn towards the future.

What dreams do you have for 2010 and beyond?

What mindset shifts do you need to make to see the dreams become a reality?

What changes will you need to make to live out those dreams?

We will be exploring the Learning Circle at the Celebration Sunday. The Learning Circle is a simple tool to help us identify a kairos: one of those times when the earth suddenly stops and we experience an “aha” moment! (More about the Circle in Laurie's Blog: CLICK HERE)

It’s an awesome tool to help us consider this month the kind of people we want to become, as well as the faith community that God is calling us to live into.

I can’t wait to discover who we will be as individuals and as a faith community in 10 years when we are reflecting on the 2010’s and anticipating the next decade.

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