A Season to Wait

2 comments Written on November 28th, 2010     
Filed under: missions
December is just around the corner. In the church this is always a busy month. Even the little house church where I am on staff has quite a full calendar. Members have been passing out invitations in the neighborhood for the last couple of weeks. Last week they were busy putting up Christmas decorations. Yesterday we lit the first advent candle. On the 12th we will all be attending a city wide Christmas celebration after our worship. Then on the 19th we’ll have our own Christmas worship service, followed by a potluck meal/party. Then on the 24th we’ll have a Christmas eve gathering. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season.

But as we sang “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” I was once again reminded that the spirit of Advent is anything but busy. Advent is all about waiting. It’s lonely waiting for the comforter. It’s dark waiting for the light. It’s hard not losing hope in the promise. This is the season when we are called upon to wait. Be still, and wait upon the Lord. And yet it is so much easier to fill our days with busy stuff. It makes us feel more productive. It even helps us avoid thinking about the things we are still waiting for.

I’m reminded of a wonderful conversation I recently had with a nine year old friend of mine. He admittedly is struggling with the whole notion of waiting. He was very honest with me and said, “You know, I can play soccer or a video game for an hour, even two hours and the time just flies. But if I’m waiting for something, even five or ten minutes is just too much. I hate waiting!” Of course the normal response would be to simply note that he is still young and immature and has yet to learn patience. Then again, you just might conclude that he was being more honest than most adults are about something that we all struggle with. We mature adults are simply better at concealing it with our busyness.

O come, O come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear.
O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by thine advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadows put to flight.
O come, thou Wisdom from on high, and order all things, far and nigh;
to us the path of knowledge show, and cause us in her ways to go.
O come, Desire of nations, bind all peoples in one heart and mind;
bid now our sad divisions cease, and be thyself our King of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Lord, teach me to be still and wait upon you in the coming days and weeks of Advent.

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2 comments “A Season to Wait”

Thanks Jim for this. That nine year old wouldn’t be someone I would know would it?
Yesterday when I was writing our prayer bulletin “WAITING” sort of became the theme. Then I opened your post today and found the same emphasis. Good thoughts.

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Oh come on, Tim! You were standing right there… 🙂

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