Monday, December 06, 2010

Some thoughts on Advent (from my church newsletter entry).

by Eric

Waiting stinks, doesn't it?

We hate to wait in that line of overflowing carts at the grocery store. We hate to wait for the mail deliverer to bring that package for which we've been so excited. We hate to wait for that weekend that breaks up the humdrum days, cooped up in the office. We hate to wait.

Waiting never has, and never will be easy. There are many examples of people struggling with anxious anticipation throughout Scripture. The Israelites struggled to wait for deliverance. The followers of Jesus struggled to wait for the Resurrection. The early church struggled to wait for the second coming of our Lord. In fact, much of the Biblical witness is about waiting.

In the season of Advent, it's all about waiting. We anxiously await the birth of our Lord, and God's physical presence among us--and all the wondrous gifts he brings.

In Advent, we are invited to dwell in the process of waiting. We are invited to savor the moments of anticipation. This is quite subversive, really. Rather than go along with our culture that has already jumped to Christmas, we acknowledge and honor the coming birth of our Lord by waiting and preparing.

There is, well, a lot of crap going on among us. There are wars. There is sickness. There is poverty. There is suffering of all sorts. We need a savior--and we need one now. Take heart, brothers and sisters in Christ, for our Savior is coming! So instead of speeding through these weeks of Advent, let us focus on the coming of our Lord with expectant and joyful waiting.

O Come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to you,
O Israel.

Let us rejoice in the promised coming of our Lord, preparing our hearts, minds--and world--for his birth. Alleluia!


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