Pastor’s Email Devotion
The Week of Advent 1
November 29, 2015
‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. (Luke 12:35-36, NRSV)
Our grandson, and our daughter and son-in-law spent the Thanksgiving holiday with us. And one of the joys of Sam’s visits is the chance to read bedtime stories and nap time stories. Although his favorites this weekend were two books about babysitting your grandmother and grandfather, he also loves Dr. Seuss books, and we have read a shelf-full of them in his 33+ months of life. Fox in Socks destroys me, but I’ve always liked Oh, the Places You’ll Go! … partly because of passages like this. Passages hat speak to adults as well as children.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.
NO! That’s not for you!
Advent is a season of waiting. A liturgical waiting that re-enacts the waiting the world did prior to Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. And a literal waiting for Jesus’ return at the end of all the ages. Most of us believe that we live far enough past Jesus’ first coming and far enough ahead of Jesus second coming, to ignore this magnificent season of Advent. We choose instead to celebrate a watered-down mockery of the Christmas season that is more Hallmark schmaltz than it is divine arrival into our world and lives. It is our impatience … our discomfort with “holy waiting” for that which redeems us … he who redeems us.
So in the week ahead, this the first week of our Advent season, why not consider a re-engagement of this spiritual discipline of waiting. Consider all of the moments in a given day, when you are called to wait: waiting for the results of a medical procedure; waiting for news on an expected baby’s arrival; waiting in a checkout line; waiting for a spouse to return from a business trip; waiting at a traffic light; waiting for a person that you love to choose life over addiction; waiting for a calling that feels like a godly calling. Try using these opportunities for something productive, instead of just “killing time” until something more attractive shows up. Consider prayer, preparation, reflection, reading or learning. Consider the engagement of every moment of life, as a holy calling. Consider what God might be preparing you to do … or be. Be an Advent person that is comfortable living in these “between” times.
In this season of expectation we prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah into the bustle of our lives and the hard to find moments of solitude. We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah into our homes and situations along with friends and families. We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah into our hearts, and those often hidden parts of our lives. We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah for beneath the surface of your story is an inescapable fact. You entered this world as vulnerable as any one of us in order to nail that vulnerability to the cross. Our fears, our insecurities and our sins all that can separate us from God exchanged by your Grace for Love. We cannot comprehend the reasoning; only marvel that salvation comes to us through a baby born in a stable, and reaches out to a world in need. Amen.
~~ Prayer for Advent, from Faith and Worship.com