I dare say that there aren’t many of us who enjoy having to wait. Who among us has the patience to while away the hours when we have so many other important matters to address? And yet waiting is a part of life that we cannot seem to avoid. Whether it’s a checkout line or a traffic jam or a cue to enter an event, a good part of our emotional maturity involves learning how to handle those moments when everything seems to have come to a screeching halt.
One of the ways we manage to pass those times of waiting is by using the opportunity to ponder the possibilities before us and plan out strategies to make them become realities. We make lists. We respond to emails. We check our social media page. Each of these actions represents an effort on our part to make this interim time worth the wait.
The season of Advent works in much the same way. Advent is that four-week period prior to Christmas when we find ourselves waiting on Jesus to come. It serves a double purpose. Advent looks back to how God’s people were required to wait for Jesus to be born, but it also looks ahead to the promise of Jesus’ Second Coming.
Our church has planned a number of ways to make this time of waiting an opportunity for your spiritual growth. Over the next four weeks there will be a host of special worship events, beginning with this Sunday’s Hanging of the Green service, which is an occasion for preparing our worship space for this special season. There will be concerts to come as we move further into the month of December. These concerts will involve all of the musical groups in our church, because nothing conveys Christmas like the songs we sing during this time of the year. We have a devotional guide, Jesus Is Better, prepared by the ministerial staff, which will guide your Advent preparation, and many of you will have the chance to join together in a combined Sunday Morning Bible Study experience that will focus on Hebrews and the manner in which Jesus ultimately and definitely bears witness to how God is with us.
Unfortunately, sometimes our secular calendars don’t help us gear up for these special opportunities as the days between Thanksgiving and the first Sunday of Advent bump up against one another too closely. This year is one of those times. The first Sunday of Advent, December 1, happens immediately after Thanksgiving. So, if you’re in town, please make the effort to come and join us for the start of our Advent worship. If you’re out of town, consider joining us via the live stream or by spending a moment reflecting on the Advent devotional we’ve made available for you. Either way, we can surely slow down enough to give sufficient thought to how we might best prepare for the Messiah who is coming our way and the manner in which His advent will indeed be more than worth the wait.
"Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You, too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near” (James 5:7-8).