Today is Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving where we set our gratitude aside and push our way into various stores, to get the best deal we can, for items we hope will make our loved ones smile. It is easy to enter the “shopping season” and get lost in the frantic pace of chasing items, going to parties, and eating too much.

While I can enjoy this time of year in many ways, one of my favorite things about it is Advent. Advent is the anticipation of the coming of the Savior, which we celebrate on Christmas morning. Jesus has come, and is coming again. He left the glory of Heaven, to be born in a humble stable. He came to live, love, die and rise again to conquer sin, death, and Hell. Jesus will one day leave the splendor of Heaven again to triumphantly return to this world and make all things new.

I’m thankful for Advent because it reminds me of the hope provided by Jesus’ first coming, and the hope anticipated through his return.

I’m thankful for Advent because it provides so many rich opportunities to talk with students about the person and work of Jesus. I am thankful for the ways God has used these conversations in the past to lead children to himself. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have those same conversations with a whole new crop of students.

Today I want to ask you join us in thanking God for his Son, and all the good work he has done in this world. Join us in thanking God for the salvation he has provided to children in our community. Join us in praying that God will use these conversations to lead many more children to himself.