Just these lines my friends to say…

Are you an ‘Advent Christian’?  I’ve always loved Advent, and so does one of my favorite Christian authors Henri Nouwen.  He has written about ‘the spirituality of waiting.’  How will we mark the weeks of Advent this year?  How will we wait with hope?

From “Waiting For God” by Henri Nouwen:

Waiting is not a very popular attitude… In fact, most people consider waiting a waste of time. Perhaps this is because the culture in which we live is basically saying, “Get going! Do something! Show you are able to make a difference! Don’t just sit there and wait!” …It impresses me, therefore, that all the figures who appear in the first pages of Luke’s Gospel are waiting. Elizabeth and Zechariah are waiting. Mary is waiting. Simeon and Anna, who were there at the temple when Jesus was brought in, are waiting. The whole opening of the good news is filled with waiting people…

Waiting, is waiting with a sense of promise. “Zechariah… your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son.” “Mary… Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son” (Luke 1:13, 31). People who wait have received a promise that allows them to wait. They have received something that is at work in them, like a seed that has started to grow.  So waiting is never a movement from nothing to something. It is always a movement from something to something more.  Second, waiting is active. Most of us think of waiting as something very passive, a hopeless state determined by events totally out of our hands…But there is none of this passivity in scripture. Those who are waiting are waiting very actively. They know that what they are waiting for is growing from the ground on which they are standing…  Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it…

Waiting is essential to the spiritual life. But waiting as a disciple of Jesus is not an empty waiting. It is a waiting with a promise in our hearts that makes already present what we are waiting for. We wait during Advent for the birth of Jesus. As we wait we remember him for whom we are waiting, and as we remember him we create a community ready to welcome him when he comes.

 I hope this helps your Advent waiting… may we prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child. During this most holy season of Advent: come to Worship, to the Advent   Bible Study, the Christmas Cantata, and join us for the Living Nativity and Bethlehem. Come with Advent hope, and as a community of faith as we continue waiting in holy      expectation.  May God’s Blessings be on all of us in this season of celebrating the first   Advent and waiting for the next one!

 

Pastor Deb