1 Jn 3:1-10
Mthr. Susie Skillen
By Chris Sherratt
This past Saturday, Tim and I aimed for a 7:15 arrival at our local grocery store to pick up a few things for the family meal we were to host later that day. I hadn’t been in the store for at least a week, but even before that visit it had been fully decked out in traditional Thanksgiving décor. Harvest colors and foodstuffs lined the entry ways and aisles, enticing everyone to organize for the upcoming holiday. But this time as we entered the store just two days after the holiday, a remarkable transformation had occurred. Small evergreen firs lined the walkways outside, and the interior was full of reds, greens, inflatable snow people and mouth-watering candies fit for any stocking. The check-out lanes even sported packs of red and green batteries!
In retrospect this shouldn’t have surprised me; the marketing world pulls us from holiday to holiday at warp speed. But for those mindful of the church’s liturgical year, we’re on the threshold of the season to slow ourselves down: Advent, whose bywords are Watch and Wait.
Watching and waiting don’t come easy to many of us. When I asked my family what was easy and hard about waiting, they readily identified the difficulties. Waiting itself is hard; our expectations may not be met; the efficacy of the end result may not be as full as we’d hoped. I remembered the directions Bishop Bill gave to the delegates at Synod, just before we recorded our discernments for the new ADNE bishop.
“Wait,” he said. And then he paused, for a long time. Then, he said again, “Wait.”
Making time and room for the Holy Spirit to move in us surely must be a benefit of waiting. And if we consider for whom and what we wait: the birth of Jesus, we are invited to realize He exceeds all expectations and achieves fully all God intended.
Advent will provide the opportunity to hear again Isaiah 40, “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.“ As we move from Christ the King Sunday into the anticipation of Christ’s birth, may we find in Him our best hope and His peace.