For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Happy new year!! If you aren't aware of the Church calendar... our year began this past Sunday. It begins with the season of Advent, which is the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas.
That's right. The year begins with a time of waiting. What's with that? What value is there in waiting around when there is work to be done? Waiting seems wasteful. We take pride in our busyness, and we tend to secretly resent those who have more time to be still than we do. Like Rembrandt's famous depiction of Jeremiah, waiting feels.... uh, not victorious.
Yet the church declares that God is worth the wait. We are waiting expectantly for God to act, aren't we! But even with that mindset, we may miss the point. Maybe it's less about waiting for God to act, and more like what Brian Zahnd suggests...
"We are not so much waiting for God to act as we are waiting to become contemplative enough to discern what God is doing. God is always acting, because God is always loving his creation. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are always inviting us into their house of love. But when we are consumed by anger, harried by anxiety, and driven by impatience, we are blind and deaf to what God is actually doing in the present moment."
This Advent I'm not waiting for God to act. I'm waiting for my spirit to slow down and become aware enough to notice where God is already making rivers in the wasteland, turning night to dawn, and transforming stone hearts to flesh. I'm waiting long enough so that I can become active in God's world, rather than re-active to whatever is loudest. Contemplation and action are equal partners in the kingdom of God.
We wait with expectation on these wintry days by listening to the word of God, listening for the Spirit of God, and listening to the stories of each other.
As a church, LifePath prepares together by sharing our own stories. We are trying to practice the holy calling to wait, watch, and listen through these daily readings leading up to Christmas. Because of these readings, I'm putting our Thursday Together For Good reflections on pause until after Advent. Whether or not you are physically connected to LifePath, I invite you to journey with us through these daily readings.
You can download the pdf here.
This year we're inspired by Jesus to tell simple and profound stories about Light and Life. I'd love for you to join us. We'll join up again here after Christmas.
Peace in the waiting,