Advent Devotion: Waiting God’s Way

Post a Comment » Written on December 9th, 2003     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (December 9, 2003)  – Covenant Communications receives more than  250 church newsletters each month and occasionally publishes devotional  material from those newsletters at This one, called  “Waiting God’s Way,” comes from Don Johnson, pastor of Salem Covenant  Church, New Brighton, Minnesota.

I have been fascinated with the concept of “sacred space” every since my  sabbatical leave during the summer of 2000. That concept, the nature of  what is sacred – and what is not – has not left me alone.

In an increasingly secularized culture, where a smaller and smaller  percentage of the population participates regularly in church, I am  concerned about the loss of the sense of the sacred; the sense of the  holy. I recently searched the Internet, looking up the word “sacred  space,” and found a wide variety of interesting and strange approaches  to the holy.

The hunger for the holy, however, remains deeply planted in our hearts.  Throughout the Psalms we are reminded that we are made to be receptive  to and aware of God. We hunger and thirst for God. We ache for God’s  spirit. We rest in the comfort of God’s presence and word.

One discovery I made is that space is less important to God than time.  Many religions have declared certain places to be inherently “holy;”  Mecca, Jerusalem, the Ganges River, Mount Fuji to name a few. These are  places where true believers think God is more present than in normal,  everyday places.

The God of the Bible, while making himself present at various places, is  not confined to one place more than another. Jesus, in talking with the  woman at the well (John 4:1-26), taught that God, being spirit, is  worshiped anywhere. What God redeems – and makes holy –  is time. God  transforms our time into his time. God takes our short spans of frantic  life and sets them within the promise of eternity. God transforms  hurried lives into peaceful and gentle lives by redeeming our time.

There is no time of year where the Christian world and the secular world  collide more than during the Christmas season. Everything seems to speed up and all of our resources  become stretched beyond their comfort margins. We spend too much, eat  too much, go out too much, and travel too much. We find ourselves in  almost constant motion – but Advent is all about waiting and  anticipating the coming of Christ as an infant back then and as redeemer  now. Each week will be a discovery of a prophetic promise for which  Israel was told to wait; for which we are also told to wait.

Grace and peace as you wait.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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