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Whoa, Nelly

A favorite expression of my mother’s, and the late Keith Jackson, if you are a football fan, was “whoa, Nelly.” It was her way of slowing us down when we got ahead of ourselves. Frankly, she used the expression mostly in a behavioral context. The excitement of Christmas beckoned us to get ahead of ourselves with abandon.

The season of Advent, which begins Sunday is a four week season that precedes the festival of Christmas. It comes from the Latin “adventus,” which means “coming.” Advent is a season in which we wait, watch and prepare for the coming of the one who is to save us. It is a very difficult season because not many say, “whoa, Nelly.” In fact, the Christmas season begins in August at several retailers. What is the message of Black Friday? That’s right; whatever you do, do not wait! So here we are, trying to wait and prepare in the midst of a spending and busyness frenzy. Rough sledding, indeed.

The first Sunday of Advent this year will center around the theme of “Longing.” Where is the emptiness? What is simply not quite right? Where do you need healing and wholeness? Where are you being called to bring healing to the world? Where do you need Jesus?

During this season of Advent, listen to my mother! “Whoa, Nelly.” Slow down, wait, watch, prepare—something is about to happen.

Sunday we will look at the sense of longing in Psalm 80:1-7; 17-19. We will light the first candle in our Advent Wreath. We will also celebrate the Lord’s Supper.

See you Sunday,


PS—The Advent Study begins this Sunday at 9:00 a.m. in the Cook Room. Why not start a new habit by participating in our Spiritual Enrichment program?

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