Getting “Reel” for Advent
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and Cyndi and I got to spend ours with our daughter, Rachel, a minister in our Evangelical Presbyterian Church denomination who is serving as the Dean of Spiritual Formation at Montreat College, a Christian school in Billy Graham country near Asheville, North Carolina. (In fact, Rachel lives literally next door to the Graham estate!) We missed being with our boy, Cooper, but loved seeing Rachel’s new home, visiting the school, taking side trips to places like the Biltmore Estate (largest private home in America…four acres of floor space under roof!) and seeing her in action in chapel. All this was a reminder of those most important things of life for which Cyndi and I are incredibly thankful to the Lord. I trust that your holiday was equally life-giving!
Speaking of holidays, Advent! Wowza, it comes quickly every year, doesn’t it? This weekend, we kick off our weeks-long countdown to the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the moment when God made most clear how much this world and all its broken denizens mean to Him.
On the heels of a series in which we were learning to be more hospitable, we are going to try and make it even easier for you to invite your friends and family to church. This Advent series will be called “Reel Christmas” and each week we will be using clips from classic Christmas movies to illustrate our journey through John 1, John’s VERY unusual and powerful take on Christmas. This week I kick off with my favorite Christmas movie, Elf. (I know…some of you are rolling your eyes. I don’t care. I like it! You may want to watch the movies we are featuring in this series with your LifeGroups or families; if so, Pastor Megan has prepared discussion guides you can use.
I hope you will come, I hope you will bring a friend and I hope it will jump-start YOUR Advent celebration.
PS – By the way, apparently my recent encouragement to all of us to show up on time for church could use with a little reinforcement! We do our best to design the entire service to provide a powerful encounter with God. I promise, you will get more out of that meal if you eat the whole thing! PLUS, you can’t be a host to the party that you are late for. How about an Advent pledge that goes something like this: “I WILL come on time, I WILL come on time, I WILL come on time!” And when you do, I’ll be there to shake your hand and welcome you!