Dear friends in Christ,
Sometimes you hear people talking about how we should all be Easter People. As you know, the Supreme Executive Committee rejects this view. Both of us (Tim and Scott) think we should all be Lent People, and that’s why every single episode of Monday Madness ends with “Happy Lent!” regardless of what time of year it airs.
But seriously, we love Lent not just because it’s the time of year for the Saintly Smackdown. We love Lent because it calls us to renew our walk with Jesus. Lent is a kind of spring cleaning for the soul in which we turn away from all the distractions of the world and turn once again toward Jesus.
2020 has been a year of distractions, and that’s putting it kindly. Thousands and thousands are dead from a pandemic. Political leaders — regardless of your preferred party — have not exactly demonstrated excellence in leadership. We’ve seen racism exposed in new ways. Violence of all kinds seems to be on the rise all around the world. If ever there was a time for us to turn toward Jesus, this is it.
That’s why we’re especially looking forward to Advent this year. Sure, we like it because it’s a purple season and we can wear our team colors. More than that, we are grateful for the arrival of this season, which like Lent, calls us to turn toward Jesus. We’re preparing for Christmas rather than Easter, but both Advent and Lent invite us to turn away from distractions and turn toward the most important things.
Though most people think of us as Lentologists, we do know a few things about Advent and especially about turning toward Jesus. Here are some suggestions to savor the gift of Advent. We hope you’ll think about how you’ll approach Advent ahead of time, so you can be ready to make space for the still, small voice of God. Yes, we’re saying this is the Advent for Advent.
Without further ado, here are some suggestions.