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Father Wilson's Bulletin Article

November 27, 2022
A New Year's Resolution
 
By Fr. Mike Reinhardt, Associate Pastor
On this first weekend of Advent, our minds turn from Thanksgiving to Christmas. We just finished celebrating one big holiday, and now we are preparing for the next one, less than a month away. Decorations, gifts, parties… Christmas is going to come quickly!  
 
One thing you’ll expect to see me write - and you aren’t wrong - is that Advent is a time of prayerful preparation for the coming of Jesus. We are preparing for his coming in the flesh. We spend time appreciating and marveling at the fact that God chose to come as a human infant to rescue us from sin and death. That indeed is something to ponder this Advent season.
 
One of the things our Gospel reading reminds us of today is that the timing of our Lord’s second coming cannot be known. His first coming is known and that is what we celebrate at Christmas. He has come, and has come in a marvelous way! But it is his second coming that we prepare ourselves for spiritually. There can be a temptation to put off preparation, to tell ourselves that we will always have time to prepare to meet our Lord. Our Gospel tells us that this is not so, that on the day of his coming, two will be working, one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, let us look upon this Advent, not merely as a preparation for Christmas, but also as a preparation for the coming year.  Let us take the time this Advent to commit to Jesus and set our feet on a path this year of growing with Him.  
 
What are some ways to do this? Warm up by taking a tag or a mitten from the giving tree in the back of the gathering space to give a gift to someone in need. Notice how this makes you feel, and then do some planning for the rest of the year. Invite your spouse or a friend to your planning. Decide what you will do to learn more about your faith. Attend the Advent Retreat on December 3, or perhaps a video series from Formed.org is right for your family. If you haven’t already, fill out the discipleship and stewardship forms and say “yes” to Christ through the ministries offered at All Saints. These tools not only help All Saints plan for the future but help parishioners find ways to grow by using their gifts in service to others.  
 
Advent is a good opportunity to take a spiritual inventory of our growth in faith this past year and identify where we want growth to happen over the coming year. Growth happens when we intentionally look at where we are in our relationship with the Lord and identify some next steps to grow that relationship. This would be good to take to prayer over the coming week. Use this Advent to make a New Year’s resolution for discipleship!
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