Saturday, December 15

advent 2007

On a hot and balmy Saturday in August 1968, First Baptist of Savannah indeed “rose to the occasion.”

A dozen years earlier, the Historic Savannah Preservation Society was founded, and the movement grew to begin saving the many architectural gems in Savannah’s Historic District. And on one day in 1968, more than 1,000 residents joined together with schools, churches, and civic organizations in a “Clean Up Savannah” Day. First Baptist members rolled up their sleeves and helped to prepare lunches, as dozens of our members scattered out and about in squares, streets, parks, and open spaces to clean, pick up trash, or anything else that would improve the appearance of historic Savannah. Even Charles Kuralt from CBS Evening News reported the event to a national television audience. The call came, and as usual, First Baptist responded. That for me is what Advent is really about. God has come. Jesus is coming!

The call has been given to follow and to help prepare the way so that others may know about this Jesus. But in our own response, we are not alone. It is not just “up to us.” It is Emmanuel, God “with” us! Not in or of ourselves, not apart from the community of faith which nurtures us or in isolation.

God’s “call.” Our response.

EMMANUEL . . . God with us!

– John Lanier

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