Tuesday, December 11

advent 2007

One year while our family was living in the Washington. D.C., suburbs, my Sunday School class initiated an Advent project I haven’t forgotten. In November, members agreed to provide groceries for needy families and purchase gifts for the child of a prisoner. But as December loomed, we talked about the need for an additional gift we might give the people we encountered in our daily lives. During the harried days to come, we resolved to share the Light of the season in small acts of kindness and courtesy. We promised to reach out to others, and though it sounds trite, to smile more and to greet others in our work places, at the grocery store, in line at the mall, waiting in the post office.

Each Sunday in Advent, the members of that class shared stories about the difference our small gestures made . . . minor miracles of defused tension, of civility and kindness, of smiles and season’s greetings shared by people who’d been isolated, irritated, or angry a few minutes earlier. Each week our shared reports inspired us to do more. Our project that year was the tiniest tip of an iceberg, but it taught me some of what it is to be missional: to be intentional, to act joyfully, to use whatever gifts we have, to be inspired by each other, to act as though the Kingdom is near.

Indeed, it is!

Arise, shine; for your Light is come. (Isaiah 60:1)

– Ashley Williams

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