It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already upon us! I’ll be praying for you this week – that your time with friends and family is a blessing and life-giving! I’m also hopeful that you’re able to experience some of what we’ve explored of Jesus’s meals for the last few weeks. Recall that when Jesus gathered people together, it was an opportunity for him to love, teach and challenge them to be the men and women they were created to be. May that describe all of our Thanksgiving celebrations this year!

This Sunday also represents the first week of Advent, which is a season of preparation for Christmas. We’ll talk a lot about what Advent is and how it could work to bring you closer to Christ in the coming weeks – it’s one of my favorite seasons of the year! Among other things, it reminds us that there is rich meaning in so many of the Christmas decorations that we hang in the church and in our homes. 

Finally, I want to encourage you to pick up a copy of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas novella: A Christmas Carol. It’s a short read – shorter than I expected based on the number of movie adaptations – and it’s full of wisdom even 179 years after its first release. If you’re not a reader, the Muppet Christmas Carol is actually very faithful to the original text! 

We’re going to use Mr. Dickens’ reflections on the Christmas spirit to help us prepare for a meaningful Christmas celebration. The hectic pace of this season and of our calendars often robs us of the chance fully recognize and enjoy the meaning of Christmas. So this Advent, we’re going to slow down, remember the the whole story of Christmas, and reclaim the full meaning of the birth of our Savior. See you Sunday!