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3 Resources for Your Advent Journey

Black Friday? Ha!
That’s so 2013.

This year we had way more opportunities to “save.”
There was Grey Thursday, Small Biz Saturday, Sofa Sunday and Cyber Monday.

A consumer’s dream. Right? Maybe.
Turns out, according to a report from IBM and The National Retail Federation, the added sales throughout Thanksgiving may not have had the affect retailers were expecting.

But perhaps the greater question is, what affect does it all have on our sense of soul?

Though I have historically scoffed at the die-hard shoppers who fight the crowds on Black Friday, I will admit this year I was tempted to become one. I noticed that one of the items we want to give the boys was on sale Thursday night. We didn’t go. But it wasn’t for noble reasons of principle. It had more to do with the Turkey I had just enjoyed, the spiked tryptophan in my system, and the roaring fire in the fireplace.

But even if I could have mustered the energy to go, would it be worth it?
I mean, are there other costs to great sales?
I think so.

I have a friend and colleague in ministry who posted a few characters of timely wisdom to Facebook this past weekend. He said,

“ Economics always seems to trump Theology. Black Friday exists to ensure the gratitude of Thanksgiving doesn’t seep into our bones past one day.”

 

There’s truth to his observation.

Gone unchecked, left unexamined, even our highest thoughts and noblest motives for this season can be lured into the shadows. The gratitude of Thanksgiving and the promises of Advent can easily be eclipsed by one good 70% off sale.

But it doesn’t have to be.
With a little practice, we can keep our eyes fixed on what matters most this Advent. Here are three resources to help along the way.

D3651. D365.org Online Devotional
This online devotional is produced by our friends at Passport Camps, Inc. Each daily entry includes a selected scripture, devotional thought, questions to ponder, prayer and music. It is a simple and fresh way to orient your day, during the advent season.

WatchtheLight2. Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas
This is the book I am reading for my own spiritual formation during the advent season. It includes reflections from some of the most renown authors, theologians and spiritual leaders, such as: Dietrick Bonheoffer, Annie Dillard, Thomas Merton, C.S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen and more…

CommonLectionary3. The Revised Common Lectionary
The lectionary is a great resource for a deliberate and disciplined reading of Scripture through the advent season. The texts include a variety of Old and New Testament passages, and are focused preparing the heart and mind for the arrival of the Christ child.

Let me finally encourage you and your family to take every advantage of the special worship opportunities we have planned at JCBC during the season, as we make our journey together to Bethlehem and the birth of the One who makes all things new.

Shaun King
Senior Pastor
Johns Creek Baptist Church

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