Thursday, November 30, 2017
Written by: Dr. Sharon A. Hansen | Interim Director of Music & Arts
Waiting. Is there anything more exasperating in our modern, rush-rush society, especially while Christmas shopping? We wait in line to check out, after already having waited in line to park our cars at the mall. We wait in holiday shopping and rush hour traffic jams. We wait, we wait, we wait . . . and our blood pressures and anxiety levels rise to levels heretofore unseen.
Speaking of waiting, ever wonder why the church doesn’t begin singing Christmas hymns as soon as they start playing in the malls and on the radio? Christmas is preceded by the liturgical season of Advent, from the Latin word “adventus” (meaning “coming” or “visit"). The Season of Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve, is precisely about waiting, with the anticipation of the Great Joy to come.
The PC(USA) believes the four weeks of Advent present an opportunity for communal discernment and personal examination, as the church both prepares to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord and looks with hope for Christ’s return. Read more at: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/worship/christianyear/advent/
So instead of cursing that long line that is causing you to wait, re-center and allow grace to enter in where anxiety had taken root. Take time for personal examination about your day, your relationships, your faith. Using “wasted” waiting time as “found” spiritual time further enhances the Christian experience of the Advent Season. Try it. There certainly will be ample waiting time to practice.
For further devotional, pray the powerful words of this beautiful Advent hymn, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” (Presbyterian Hymnal, No. 1. Words by Charles Wesley)
Prayer: Lord of All, help me to wait in anticipation for the coming of our Savior. Amen.