We are at the beginning of Advent, the path that leads us to Christmas. It’s a season of waiting, watching and wondering. We wait, not only for our annual celebration of Jesus’ birth, but also for his second coming, for the ushering in of the reign of God.
We watch for the signs of the second coming, not only the signals that tell us that change is near, but also for the visible signs of God’s presence among us.
Advent does not call us to idle waiting, watching and wondering. No, Advent is a time for active preparation. We take efforts to realign ourselves with God so we focus more intently on prayer, devotion, service.
We are called into action, living out our baptismal promises to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed; to serve all people, following the example of Jesus; and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.
So, I pose two questions in this season of Advent, questions not just for yourself personally, but also for the community of women in your congregation.
First, how are you righting your relationship with God? It’s easy to become overwhelmed and overbooked with holiday parties, shopping expeditions and gift giving in the frenzy of our culture’s celebration of Christmas. Creating a space for quiet contemplation and conversation with God in this season of holy mystery can be downright difficult.
Second, how are you living out your baptismal promises in serving others and striving for justice and peace? Will you take up the call to end human trafficking or care for unaccompanied minors coming to our country? Will you work to end bullying or create a safe place for children?
Whether you take up one of these issues or address a particular need in your community, Advent is the season to get started.
Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director for Women of the ELCA.
Photo by Elizabeth McBride
Ideas for your Advent season
Instead of a Christmas party for your congregational unit, what if you hosted a prayer service? Or hosted a retreat early in the season and used our resource Sacred Spaces (available free at womenoftheelca.org) so that the women of your congregation could create their own sacred space at home for use during Advent and beyond? (Our resource A Thoughtful Prayer Life makes a great Advent retreat too; it’s also free on our website.)
Use the hash tag #AdventAction as you proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed this Advent season. You can share the ways that you are being active during Advent on Facebook and Twitter by tagging @WomenoftheELCA and using the hashtag #AdventAction.