Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” (Matthew 11:3)
“A note of joyful expectation marks today’s worship. Isaiah announces that the desert shall rejoice and blossom, and Jesus points to the unexpected and transforming signs of God’s reign. We wait with patience for the coming of the Lord, even as we rejoice at his presence among us this day: in word and holy supper, in church and in our homes, in silent reflection and in works of justice and love. We pray that God would open our eyes and ears to the wonders of Christ’s advent among us.
REFLECTIONS FOR THE WEEK AHEAD Think for a moment of all the things you “wait upon” in a given day. How important are each of those things we wait for?
Waiting …. patience … abiding … these are characteristics that (1) we do not embrace very easily in our fast paced culture; and (2) we do not really appreciate in our “I want it now” approach to life. Amazon one day delivery … instant access to information on the web that we used to research in library books … immediate connection with our families through digital platforms like Facetime. What does it mean to wait for things these days. And what does it mean to “wait for the Lord.” Advent slaps you in the face with the call to “wait”. How sore does that liturgical slap make your face feel, even as it commands your attention and points you to hope.
Traditional Worship Hymn of the Day: #: 266: All Earth Is Hopeful — Advent is a time of waiting for the baby Jesus. Yet, in a strange paradox, we know Jesus is always with us. Today’ hymn of the day calls out the ways God continually works among us, echoing the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel reading, “The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.”
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New Day Worship Hymn — O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – In New Day we will; sing these old, old words in a new way … “O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel. We are reminded in the Advent season that amidst everything else that we wait for, behind them all is Jesus, the one we need the most.