It is also a way for people to think about celebrating Jesus, not commercial(s), on December 25th. We can think about making changes now instead of at Thanksgiving. It gives families time to discuss changes and think about the real meaning of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. All that to say.......... Today is the first Sunday of 'our' summer Advent. This year I'm using Adam Hamilton's The Journey as a way for people to prepare for, continue on or start a new "journey" in life.
This first Sunday is about Mary and the Messenger (Gabriel) that came to Mary. Talk about scary! Last week we spoke of following where God leads and it being scary. Have you noticed when "messengers" come to people in the Bible it IS scary AND changes start happening!? Mary's response is "here am I."
This week I'm asking you to think about if you are paying attention to the "messenger(s)" in your life? Have you listened when one is saying "fear not" and "look in this direction"? Or are you hearing all the other "messages" that go on around us? Have you paid attention to when God is calling YOU to be someone's messenger?
Hamilton states "Part of the invitation of Advent, the season leading up to Christmas, is to offer ourselves wholly to God just as Mary did. Christmas is not about how much you buy or what you eat or whom you visit. It is about your willingness to say, with Mary, "here am I, Lord. Use me according to your will." Something to be thinking about this week!