Post a Comment » Written on October 4th, 2010     
Filed under: Reflection
by: Melissa Wall, Pastor – Illinois

Anticipation…Fall is almost here.

Fall- there is something about this season that brings new life to my soul. Maybe it’s the magical transcendence of leaves glowing with red, ablaze with orange, and brilliant with yellows, as they fall to the earth creating a kaleidoscope of a once ordinary sidewalk.

Or it is the crunch of apples freshly picked at our orchard we visit every year or the leaves as they crackle under foot.

Maybe it’s the anticipation of the first day of school where you lay your your new outfit by your bedside days before the first school day dawns as you can’t wait to adorn it’s fresh crisp autumn attire.

Or maybe it’s the warm apple pies or hot cider aroma that fills houses in the Midwest or when Starbucks features their fall line-up of warm delicious latte’s.

Maybe it’s because the seats in church begin to fill with my favorite people as friends settle into the rhythm of the school year and families are back from vacations and summer stays.

Maybe it is because my birthday falls in the fall where even though I am no longer a child or teen I still invite friends and family over for dinner parties surrounded by twinkly lights in the garden in my parents backyard.

Or maybe it’s the sense of newness- a new school year, a fresh start, a new season, new clothes, new fresh notebook for school, new freshness to the air.

Maybe it’s all of it wrapped together… Yes that must be my favorite… All of these and countless more memories captured and memories to come woven perfectly into the season I like best- fall.

For the memories that I hold tightly and for those in expectant wonder, this season would not have the magical sense unless I had the anticipation.

Anticipation… How does this play out in ministry? Take a retreat coming up, you have gone on this retreat before (memories you hold tightly) and yet it is a new year (memories to come). So to prepare your students, to fill them with anticipation create a countdown for the retreat.

I created a 10 day countdown for our winter retreat last year and I can’t believe how it impacted our students. One day might be: partner up with someone in the group and commit to pray for them during the days leading up to the retreat, on another day I gave the students the contact information to the speaker for the weekend and asked them all to encourage him in the days leading up to the retreat.

The students were so revved up about this retreat, that I thought I might have gone overboard, how can I possibly meet their expectations? Yet as they anticipated this retreat, they prepared themselves for an amazing experience which they themselves created and lived out. It was our best retreat!

Anticipate: what does God have for you this year? Is the Holy Spirit stirring in your life?

Just as I anticipate the season of fall for so many reasons, I pray we can anticipate the season of fall for what God will do in our ministries. May we be a people expectant that God is at work.


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