Friday, November 30, 2012

An Invitation to Advent

Our primary text for this first Sunday of Advent is Luke 1:5-25, which can be found here.

Most of the mail I get, I confess, ends up in the recycling bin:  advertisements, unsolicited items from businesses, impersonal pieces addressed to "Current Resident." But there is one type of mail (other than my Thursday arrival of Sports Illustrated) that I always pay attention to:  anything that looks like an invitation.  Something addressed personally to me from someone I know well, someone who has something exciting going on in their lives that they want me to come be a part of and experience alongside of them.

This year, we are going to be looking at the stories of Advent and Christmas as God's personal invitations to us--God inviting us to be part of what God is doing in the world, God inviting us to practice ways of being open to God's movement in our lives.  We will be meeting characters in the first two chapters of the book of Luke--Zachariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Bethlehem shepherds--who accepted surprising invitations to be part of God's story in different ways.  We will be taking time to ask ourselves, what is God's invitation to each of us in this season?  How are we being invited to participate in God's ongoing story in this world in surprising ways?

As part of this season, I want to encourage you to consider who might need a personal invitation from you during Advent.  I recently read a study that said 82% of people who are not part of a church would be at least somewhat likely to visit a church if they received a personal invitation from someone they know.  Broadneck is an exciting place to be right now.  Who in your life needs to share in that excitement with you?  Who might be yearning for the sense of community and opportunity to gather together in God's presence that Broadneck can offer during the holidays?  I want to challenge you to print off the invitation above and personally hand it to someone in your life during this season, inviting them to worship or perhaps to our Christmas Caroling and Chili Supper planned for the evening of December 16.  As God has invited us into God's story, we are called to be inviting others in as well; to whom might you turn this season and say, "Hey, I want you to know you're invited.  Come along with me.  Come and see"?

No comments: