FreerangeFriday: Advent as an Invitation to Community

by Lilly Lewin
ADVENT inviation community

by Lilly Lewin

We are considering the Invitations of Advent…In Advent we are :

Invited to Wait and slow down rather than rush ahead to Christmas.

Invited to Believe rather than Be Afraid

Invited into Community rather than being Alone. ( thank you to my friend and thinplace member Anya Almgren for this invitation idea!)

Who do you call when you need some advice, some wise counsel?

When life isn’t working out the way you’d planned, what do you do? Who do you run to when life gets hard, when stuff hits the fan or you get in to trouble?

When you know BIG changes are getting ready to happen, what do you do?

Mary was minding her own business. She was planning  a wedding. She wasn’t expecting an angel to change EVERYTHING!



 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

LUKE 1: 26-38 NIV


When six moons had passed, the Great Spirit sent the same spirit-messenger, Creator’s Mighty One (Gabriel), to another small, out-of-the-way place in the hill country called Seed Planter Village (Nazareth). 27There he appeared to a young virgin woman named Bitter Tears (Mary), who was promised in marriage to a man named He Gives Sons (Joseph), a descendant of the great chief Much Loved One (David).

Creator’s Mighty One (Gabriel) said to her, “Greetings, highly favored one! You are close to the Great Spirit and greatly honored among women.”
Bitter Tears (Mary) was deeply troubled by this greeting and wondered what the spirit-messenger would say. “Do not fear,” he comforted her, “for you have found goodwill in the eyes of the Great Mystery. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son. You will name him Creator Sets Free (Jesus).”

It seemed like time stood still, and all creation stopped to listen as the messenger continued to speak.
“He will be greatly honored, the Son of the One Above Us All. He will be a great chief like his ancestor Much Loved One (David) and will sit in his seat of honor. 33He will always be chief over the tribes of Wrestles with Creator (Israel). His chiefly guidance will never end.”
Bitter Tears’s (Mary’s) voice trembled with emotion, and her eyes grew wide as she looked into the face of the spirit-messenger.
She asked, “How will this be, since I have never been with a man?”
Creator’s Mighty One (Gabriel) answered, “The Holy Spirit will spread his wings over you, and his great power from above will overshadow you. This holy child born to you will be the Son of the One Above Us All.”
Then, to encourage her, he said, “Your cousin Creator Is My Promise (Elizabeth), who was called barren one, is six moons with child. See! There is nothing too hard for the Great Spirit.”
She looked bravely into the face of the messenger.
“I am Creator’s servant,” she said with boldness. “Let it be for me just as you have said.”
Then Creator’s chief spirit-messenger left her.    LUKE 1: 26-38 FIRST NATIONS TRANSLATION

What things have changed or are changing in your life right now ? What things are you expecting to change next year? Talk to God about where you are.

Then the angel left her.

39-45 Mary didn’t waste a minute. She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly,

You’re so blessed among women,
    and the babe in your womb, also blessed!
And why am I so blessed that
    the mother of my Lord visits me?
The moment the sound of your
    greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
    skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.
Blessed woman, who believed what God said,
    believed every word would come true!  LUKE 1:39-45 THE MESSAGE

Mary and Elizabeth

Mary and Elizabeth


Who is your Elizabeth?
Who can you run to who understands who you are and where you are? Who is the person or people you don’t have to explain things to, they just know and understand you?
Someone who brings you closer to Jesus?

Spend some time thanking God for these people.
This week, Send them a card, shoot them a text , take them out for coffee if they live near by. Make an old fashioned phone call and connect with them. Share how they have impacted your life.

When big changes come in our lives we need a friend, we need a community to help us make it through. We were not created to do things alone. God knew that Mary would need a trusted friend to help her through this BIG CHANGE. This amazing thing of bringing Jesus into the world.

We too need Friends. We need each other. But sadly we are all out of practice. Thanks to the covid years, we have forgotten how to be together and how much we need each other.

We’ve spent a lot if time alone. In isolation these past few years. We are all out of practice when it comes to community.

What does community look like for you right now?
What would you like it to look like in the new year ( the year ahead) ?

Have you forgotten?

The holidays are a great opportunity to take the time to remember the Invitation to friendship and  community. Advent is a time to remember and be grateful for those who are important in our lives, our Elizabeth friends!

Advent is also a time to remember to that we are allowed to ask for help.

What is your invitation to community this Advent?
How are you being invited to love your neighbors? Who do you know who might be feeling lonely or left out this holiday season? Who might need you to be Elizabeth for them?


Encounter the Story through Art:

Artist Henry Ossawa Tanner The Annunciation

Mary and Elizabeth in Art

ART in Advent

Jesus in this Advent season, remind us that we are not alone. Help us to know and experience you as GOD WITH US, Immanuel!   Lord Jesus, We admit that we need community. We need Elizabeths in our lives who have gone through pain and adversity and who can help us through our own pain and the changes that happen in our lives. Help us to find them. Remind us of those people who love us just as we are. Help us to ask for help and not be afraid to reach out to others. And Jesus help us to be Elizabeths this Advent to those who are feeling alone and afraid and those who need a friend. In your Name that is above all Names, AMEN

ADVENT Peace Candle

ADVENT Peace Candle

©lillylewin and

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