December 4 – Second Sunday of Advent
A Moment for Mission
“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” — Romans 15:7, NRSV
Two years ago, I learned about Buy Nothing groups springing up around the world. I joined the Buy Nothing group in my community and started to gain much more than “stuff.” I formed relationships and friendships with like-minded people.
A social movement with thousands of groups globally, Buy Nothing is a free network where neighbors can share with and receive from one another. No money is exchanged.
A college student can furnish a first apartment with items their neighbors no longer need. A new retiree can share their work wardrobe and help another person dress for success. A party host can give leftover food or decorations to a neighbor.
What does this have to do with Advent? Plenty!
As we prepare for Christmas, we can honor the Christ Child by sharing with our neighbors, and we build community in the process. Rather than trying to outspend one another, we can offer genuine gifts from the heart.
Is your shelf full of books you love but might not read again? Share them! Did your child outgrow last year’s Christmas outfit? It’s likely the perfect size for another child. Did you bake too many holiday treats? Spread the joy!
Writing to the church in Rome, the apostle Paul encouraged believers to “welcome one another … just has Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” That seems like great advice for Advent and throughout the year. Happy Advent!
Today is the second Sunday of Advent. Although Advent begins toward the end of the calendar year, it is the first season of the Christian church year. Advent includes the four Sundays leading to Christmas.
Does your church or your family, or both, light a special Advent wreath? The first four candles are purple, symbolizing hope, faith, joy and peace. The white candle is placed in the middle of the wreath and lit on Christmas Eve. Called the “Christ Candle,” it represents the life of Christ.
Another popular tradition is the Advent calendar. It helps us count down the days until Christmas and includes a small item or Bible verse each day. Advent calendars remind us that Christmas is about much more than getting presents.
Loving God, at Advent, remind us to welcome one another by sharing a smile and conversation, inviting a neighbor to church or giving from our bounty. We love you. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Second Sunday of Advent — Our God, architect of this world and all others: we know you had a vision for all your creation to dwell together. With the creatures of the air, earth, and sea, you long for us to live in respect and with one another. We give this morning, understanding that we have denied you that desire. We ask you to help us use who we are and what we have to heal this abused and broken world. In Christ, our Savior. Amen. (Isaiah 11:1-10)
What are your favorite Advent traditions? Acting in a church Christmas program? Adopting and sharing holiday celebrations with an individual or family from the community? Baking Christmas cookies from your grandmother’s recipe? Creating special gifts for special people in your life? Decorating a Christmas or Chrismon tree? Lighting an Advent wreath? Opening those little doors on an Advent calendar? Participating in an ornament-making party? Reading the story of Jesus’ birth in the Bible? Worshipping with your church family?
Oh, the music! A young friend adores Christmas carols and listens to them year-round. For her, Advent is extra-special because she knows she will be surrounded by her favorite songs.
As we prepare for the coming of Jesus, let’s also get ready to start some new Advent traditions. In a small group, ask every participant to describe a beloved Advent tradition. Chances are, you’ll get some fresh ideas and have a more meaningful celebration.