Sunday, November 27, 2011

Contemplating Advent I

Waiting. If we could only use one word to describe Christians during advent, this would be it. We are waiting for the birth of Jesus - waiting expectantly, not casually or hopelessly. There is excitement in the air, as we know that what we long for is coming with hope and fulfillment.

Sadly, in our culture we have lost the ability to wait. It is a muscle that has atrophied, even in the body of the church. Yes, even in church we have a “hurry up” mentality – deadlines for pledging, volunteering, registering … when are we ever encouraged to wait? Do we have any time during corporate worship where we can wait on the Lord together? Or are we hurried through the program of worship so that the pastors are ready for the next service and we can grab a coffee before dashing off to bible study?

Do we wait in our personal spiritual lives? Do we wait to listen to what God has to say to us, or are we just hurrying through our “worry list” when we pray? Do we wait in silence, patiently, with the phone off, EXPECTING to hear from God?

Often today, the times when we have to wait are associated with stress – waiting for test results, waiting for a loved one to come out of surgery, waiting to hear about a college acceptance, waiting for a job interview. No-one enjoys these times.

But if you are a gardener, a farmer, a chef or a wine maker, you will appreciate waiting expectantly. Any woman who’s been pregnant knows all about this! It is when the outcome is expected and longed for – flowers, crops or animals to reach maturity, wine or beer to ferment, cakes and bread to rise and of course, babies to be born.

So, are you waiting expectantly this Advent? Are you taking some time out of your day to spend waiting on God?

Let’s practice waiting this Advent.

“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37: 7
“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.Psalm 130: 5


  1. It's tragic what has happen to our society. Not only do we not want to wait for anything we teach our children they shouldn't have to wait. You hit the nail right on the head and if anything in life is worth waiting for it's Jesus!

  2. I love this thought about the importance of waiting, and it's something I really needed to hear today. My fleshly "microwave mentality" wants what I want when I want it!

    Thanks for this reminder to "be still and know." And wait.

  3. I came over from Charity's. This is a lovely contemplation on Advent. Waiting is usually hard for me, it's true, but the waiting we do during this season always feels filled with mystery and hope. Thank you for sharing these sweet words.

  4. I love these thoughts about waiting expectantly. It's true, in a general sense, we know the outcome. Jesus will reign; we will be with him forever. No more sin; no more death. This, of all waiting - this waiting for him - should be joyful even while sobering.

    Thanks for joining our High Calling writing project, too. I appreciate your voice among the others.

  5. Thanks, Ladies, for your kind thoughts! Waiting is something I have always found difficult, but during Advent I'm definitely more focused on being still and focusing on God.