“Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord: Keep watch, take heart!” — TaizéToday is the first Sunday of Advent, a season of waiting, preparation, and repentance. It is a time to quiet our hearts, separate ourselves from the busyness of our fast-paced society, and turn our eyes to the promises of our coming Messiah. Below are some thoughts to gather us as we begin this incredible journey toward Christmas and the celebration of Christ’s birth. In conjunction with these thoughts, I have curated a Spotify playlist¹ that can be found here.
I look forward to celebrating this season with you all.
On this first Sunday of Advent, all around the world, believers will light candles to illuminate the darkness and find warmth in our cold winter season of waiting — waiting for our Prince of Peace to break down the walls of sin and slavery and bring beauty to humanity’s ashen state and waiting not only in remembrance but also in the promise of his second coming — the fulfillment of all things new.
Have you ever waited for something? A job, an Amazon delivery, the outcome of tests run at a doctor’s office, for towels to dry? The situations we wait in vary, but the feeling of waiting is part of our everyday lives. It is in these various stages of waiting that Advent meets us, and we find, once again, the truths of scripture illuminating that God is working in the waiting. Let us read from Lamentations 3: 25–29 (The Message Translation) says, “God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It is a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It is good to stick it out through the hard times when you are young. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Do not ask questions: Wait for hope to appear.”
Having to wait is not a pleasant job, and practically every Christian has had to suffer through the timing of the Lord. However, we are shaped into his likeness in these holy waiting chambers. So on this first Sunday of Advent, stay awake. Keep watch. Take heart.
Let us pray: “In our secret yearnings, we wait for your coming, and in our grinding despair, we doubt that you will. And in this privileged place, we are surrounded by witnesses who yearn more than we do and those who despair more deeply than we do. Look upon your Church in this season of hope which dashes to fatigue, and in this season of yearning, which becomes so easily quarrelsome. Please give us the grace and the impatience to wait for your coming to the bottom of our toes, to the edges of our fingertips. Come in your power and come into our weakness and make all things new. Amen.” (a prayer by Walter Brueggemann).