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      ADVENTure Day 1

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      Over the next twenty-five days, I want to make this season of Advent an adventure for you and for me.  Each day, I’ll provide a little reflection, an activity of some type to help us make this season more ADVENTurous, and a question for us all to ponder together in the comments.  I hope you’ll jump in and go on this ADVENTure with me.  It should be fun, and I hope it will help us prepare for this holiday season like never before.  So here goes, ADVENTure Day 1!

      Today marks the beginning of Advent.

      Many Christians use this time to prepare for Christmas.  Maybe you are opening the first door on your Advent calendar this morning.

      Many churches around the world are lighting the first candle in their Advent wreath today.  They will be talking about hope.

      Before the first Christmas, the people of Israel were hoping and expecting the arrival of Messiah.  If I understand it correctly, they expected the Messiah to arrive as a mighty warrior perhaps riding on a white horse.  They expected the Messiah to instantly take over the government and to rule with authority and power.  They hoped it would happen soon.

      Many of us have hopes and expectations for this season.  We hope it will snow.  We hope to get that special present from a special someone.  We hope we have a chance to catch our breath during the busyness of this holiday season.

      I think hope is healthy.  It keeps us looking forward instead of dwelling in the past.  Hope pushes us to dream bigger.  Hope teaches us to expect the unexpected.

      On this first day of ADVENTure, let’s take time to hope!

      “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

      ADVENTure Activity:  Take time today as a family (or as an individual) to make a list of all your hopes and expectations for this holiday season.  Remember the rule of brainstorming – no idea is a dumb idea.  Write everything down that comes to mind.  We’ll revisit this list tomorrow.

      ADVENTure Question:  How did you celebrate Advent as a child?  Did you celebrate Advent?  Share one thing from you list of hopes and expectations.

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