Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
Arise! Shine! Your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has dawned!
Written by Keith Miller
What are you waiting for?
That's a common phrase used these days to communicate impatience, isn't it? And the answer is usually implied: Nothing! You're waiting for nothing. So go ahead and do it already! What are you waiting for?
This time of Advent, this time of waiting, has been more appropriate than ever this year. But when I parallel the advent season only with my longing to get back to "normal," and trying to patiently wait for the pandemic to be behind us, it's possible for me to miss an important element of this whole thing. And that is this:
It's not simply about what (or who) we're waiting for. It's about who we become as we wait.
When we think about the purpose of the Advent season that is drawing to a close, author Brian Zahnd suggests that,
"We are not so much waiting for God to act as we are waiting to become contemplative enough to discern what God is doing."
Each and every minute of our lives is an opportunity. There is something available to receive all the time. There are gifts around every corner, in every minute, and in each conversation. That is the beauty of the God we see in Christ. And our task is to have hearts that are rooted in God's goodness and eyes that are focused on his Kingdom, so that we become "holy noticers" of God's presence. These are the times to slowly hold things within our hearts, like Mary. And that takes time. It takes waiting.
So now, on this final day, we wait doubly. We wait not simply for Jesus to come, but also so that we can get ourselves in a position to receive him when he does.
That waiting is just about done. A few hours from now, as our Christmas eve celebrations draw to a close... the waiting ends and the celebration begins.
My prayer for you is that the coming days are days of fulfillment. Days where you can joyfully receive the gift of God, because you are becoming something new. We've waited patiently, we've waited painfully. And we're ready to see God come to life around us in our own spirits, in our relationships, and in the things that we set our minds and hands to.
Have faith that the waiting is worth it-- that there was purpose in it-- that Jesus is ready to come to life in you this year. Arise, shine, for your light has come!
Have a blessed Christmas. Party well.
Jesus, there’s a reason I’ve been waiting this month. I’m ready to receive you.
Conclude with Stillness (2 minutes)