Advent #1

Cathryn Vitek   -  

we are nearing the end of the first week of Advent.

i’ve spent an entire semester studying what this season means, and I’m still not sure I have a firm grasp on it.

(for the record, I’m not sure a firm grasp is what we’re asked to have).

oh, I can tell you what Advent means: it means “coming.”

i can tell you it is a season for waiting with hopeful expectation.

I can tell you that we are waiting for all the comings of Christ:

his second coming, his coming in our hearts and his first coming in Bethlehem.

okay.

but what do we do with that?

(if you know, please be advised you are on my “phone-a-friend” list for next semester). the best I can come up with is…

we wait.

in his essay Waiting for God, Henri Nouwen writes,

“For many people, waiting is an awful desert between

where they are and where they want to go.

And people do not like such a place. They want to get out of it by doing something.”

hmm. truth.

so, enabled by the ever-helpful marketplace, we do some things like shop and celebrate and go to performances and meet with friends and really enjoy life pretty much non-stop

between the Saturday before Thanksgiving and January 2nd.

Which are

please hear me on this (within reason anyway) all good things.

just not

entirely in tune with this season of the church year.

unless.

unless we might imagine a different kind of waiting. not the awful desert kind.

the precious kind.

the precious kind?

the precious kind of waiting is

the waiting that happens when you find out you are expecting a child.

you carry that child in your heart, mind and spirit long before you lay eyes on their sweet face.

you begin to have hopes and dreams of a different kind of life,

one you can just barely imagine

but you know all the same

will change you…

fill your heart to overflowing…

enrich your life in ways you couldn’t possibly know. and to be perfectly honest, it’s a bit terrifying, too.

but

this is not the awful desert kind of waiting at all.

the simple joy of knowing what is to come

permeates your being in ways that spill over to those around you.

when you discover a child

will soon be calling you mom or dad,

or grandma or granddad,

you start to notice things about your life you might want to change,

like making space for this precious one.

and maybe making healthier choices

so you have a good, long time to love them on this side of the very thin veil that separates now from eternity.

do you know this kind of waiting?

because I think

this is what Advent waiting means.

Only instead of calling you

mom or dad, grandma or granddad this precious child you are waiting for will call you

Saved. Redeemed. Forgiven. Freed. Beloved Child of God.

and that is something worth waiting for.

Pastor Cathy