Holy Waiting

Notes from the pastor

HOLY WAITING

Dear Fellow Sojourners,

Waiting has never been one of my strong suits.  Even as a child I had a hard time waiting for Christmas.  Learning that Advent was a season of holy waiting in preparation for the coming of Jesus didn’t at first make it any easier.  But now that I have grown older, and hopefully wiser, I have discovered the importance of lingering in Advent as a way of preparing for Christmas.  The journey toward Christmas has become more important to me than the destination.

We are more familiar with the commercialized Christmas that has less and less to do with Jesus’ coming and more and more to do with instant gratification, than we are with the holy waiting.  The thought of celebrating a season of waiting doesn’t excite a culture that is always in a hurry.  But I am tired of being in a hurry, and maybe you are too.  If Christmas has become more of a chaotic consumer ritual than a nurturing spiritual one for you, maybe Advent is the season for you, a time well spent with God.

Now that I am a grandfather, I cannot help but reminisce of times long gone.  I remember the last few weeks leading up to the birth of our first child, Nathan.  He was two weeks overdue.  Anticipating that he would arrive early, his soon to be grandparents came to visit only to leave a week later disappointed.  Diana was convinced the child she was carrying would arrive already grown up and ready for college.  But I found the time to be extremely exhilarating.  The “not yet” of something sure to come excited me more than anything else.  Like so many things in life, the wait can be more meaningful than the final outcome if we truly focus our attention on the deeper meaning of life.  All wonderful things are worth waiting for and the certainty of meeting Jesus is one such event.

For all Christians, the Advent is a time to linger and practice the spiritual discipline of waiting in creative ways.  We will light our Advent wreath and sing our hymns of expectation.  We will join our sisters and brothers in the ritual of hopeful, joy-filled expectation looking back to his birth so that we might look forward to Jesus’ second coming.

My prayer for you and your family is that this Advent season will be one where you take this gift of time that God gives each of us and rediscover the meaning of holy waiting.

In God’s Holy Time,
 ~ Pastor Ray Wittman
Last Published: December 9, 2016 11:25 AM
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