Advent has begun. It is season of the church year that is often lost in the rush to Christmas. The season when the church focuses on the expectation of the Messiah. When in the midst of a people living in deep darkness, a voice begins crying “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.”
A lot of churches use this season to draw attention to themselves, to their presence in the community. Christmas carolers and acts of kindness in the malls. Food drives for the poor and the needy. Festive decorations adorning their facilities and musical extravaganzas in their sanctuaries and auditoriums. Christmas mailers to everyone in their zip code and block parties for the children of the neighborhood.
All very good things.
But here’s an important question. What are you planning to do as a church that will continue to bless and transform your neighborhood after the Advent and Christmas season have passed into memory? You may add to the festive spirit of the season. You may even pontificate that Jesus is the reason for the season so people won’t let that truth get lost. But what is your plan for ministering amidst the hopes and fears of the New Year?
Because you’re going to be around after Christmas, aren’t you? Will your neighbors? Will they be blessed by it?