Dear Families and Friends of Woodmar UMC,
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
“Not yet.” “Wait.” These are words that people of all ages do not like to hear, especially in our American culture. We are a people accustomed to instant gratification: texting, social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), fast food, microwaveable meals, pre-made frozen pies that only need to be baked, and on and on. Sometimes, when I text my kids I think they’re ignoring me if they don’t respond within a few minutes. They thoroughly enjoy reminding me when I question them that I have taught them not to be attached to their phones. *sigh* I often feel willing to toss aside that value when I want to hear back from them within a certain time frame. I, too, fall into the trap of wanting things now.
The season of Advent is upon us, and it is the time when we wait for the coming of Christ. As followers of Jesus, we know that he was born over 2,000 years ago and we aren’t really waiting for his birth, we’re waiting for his return AND waiting to celebrate his birth once again. We live in the tension of remembering all that God has done for us through the birth of Jesus and looking forward with hope to his promised return.
The Scripture readings throughout Advent teach us how to wait. We do not wait passively for the return of our Savior. We wait with hope. Sometimes, waiting means taking extra time to be still before the Lord to listen. Sometimes, waiting means we proactively put into action the greatest commandments to “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your strength, and with all of your mind. And, love your neighbor as yourself.”
During this season of Advent, I invite all of us to take a few extra moments each day to be still before the Lord. What is God asking of us, as individuals and as the Body of Christ, during this season of waiting? Is it time to simply be, or is it time to take some risks in loving God and loving our neighbors? Or, is it both/and?
In our “waiting,” may Jesus be honored and glorified! To the glory of God may it be so! Amen.
Living in the Grip of God’s Grace,