by Yonce Shelton
Christians should be confident during Advent – and not just because we have been here before.
It is true that we should experience Advent confidently because we know the story. We know what happened at the first Christmas. Moreover, hopefully you have some experience of what can happen personally when opening and trusting with God and others at this special time. As I say about some situations in life (despite rolled eyes from my family): “It’s not my first rodeo.”
I pray Advent does not feel like your first time in cowboy boots and chaps. But then again, part of it should. That balance of known and not known makes this time special and unique for each of us.
What might be most important, however, is what Advent and Christmas mean for what comes next. Can we live into Advent and Christmas – can we respond to the miracle and give ourselves to God – in ways that allow us to go confidently into that season after?
I share this Advent message with you, CVN leaders, with the prayer that you trust how you have “been here” before. Your ministry requires creativity, nimbleness, and commitment. How has that felt to you? How does it feel? How can you “go there” again after God acts? What does that require?
You should be confident during Advent – because you have been here before and God will help you go beyond in important ways again. Trust that. And when you doubt that you have the structures, resources, experiences, or skills for what lies ahead, remember something.
Remember that what you are doing is not only about service and annual program cycles. Recognize that you are facilitating community, awareness, and Spirit in unique ways that matter for the journey of faith. Don’t think small about your impact, even if you can’t always see it. Be confident in how God works as you wait, expect, and hope in this season.
In past years, you have helped me deepen my confidence and trust in community, God, and self. I step away from CVN soon, so this is a special Advent for me. I’m so glad it’s with you. Since we have been here before, I am confident and hopeful about where all of us will go. I even just found a pair of boots I haven’t worn in a while.
You have been here. Live like it. Lead like it. God will be with you.
Still with you in service,
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