It’s beginning to look a lot like… wait for it… THANKSGIVING! Most of you are probably reading this after Thanksgiving, but I’m typing it before Thanksgiving. It really has gotten to the point where Thanksgiving is an all-but-forgotten holiday. Walmart puts out their Christmas stuff right after Halloween. Walt Disney World starts decorating for Christmas right after Halloween. Even the Dabbs family put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving this year, which I don’t think has EVER happened before. (For us, it was a matter of necessity, since Thanksgiving came so late this year, and we’re going to Mississippi to spend some time with family.) My point in saying all this is to remind you to let the spirit of Thanksgiving carry over into the Advent season. At Thanksgiving, we look back and are thankful for all God’s blessings. During Advent, we’re looking forward in joyful anticipation to celebrating the birth of Christ. Why not do both? Why not continue to look back on all God has done and, at the very same time, look forward to all we know God will do. The last couple of weeks, we’ve been reminded of the Big Story, the one we all share, the story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. Sunday, we were challenged to use the “three circles” to share our story with at least one person between now and Christmas.
You can go to YouTube and search “three circle evangelism” to find many how-to videos, if you need a refresher. One thing I like about that particular way of sharing the faith is that it takes into account the past, the present, and the future. It looks back to the creation and fall, as well as to the historical event of Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection. At the same time, it looks at our present “broken” condition, and it looks forward to our future growth in Christ, as well as to our full restoration to God’s perfect design when Christ returns. So, my final encouragement to you is as follows: this Advent, let’s look back and be thankful, let’s look forward and be hopeful, and let’s look around, right now, for someone with whom we can share THE story.