But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
~ Isaiah 40:31
This morning I have been finishing a sermon that I am to give later today during the funeral for one of my patients who died just over a week ago. As I remembered the day that he asked me to deliver his eulogy, I also thought of him sharing, "I just keep wondering how much longer it will be before God calls me home?"
Once again there is this "thing," about waiting. Sometimes I think that the word Advent should just become the word, "Waiting." The weeks leading up to the Bethlehem story, with churches being decorated, candles being lit each week, and extraordinary efforts being made to invite people to once again hear the words declared by angels, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger," all seem to keep us from remember that we are simply, "Waiting."
Advent is the reminder that we cannot do anything but wait. We can be "ready," as the gospel of Matthew invites, but ultimately we are told to "Just wait."
Words like that push us into passivity.
But Advent is not an invitation to be passive about anything, especially when it comes to our faith. Waiting is something we actively do. Like my patient who was "waiting on God," there was still something that he realized. Even in every moment that he waited, he was one more moment closer to being with God.
If we wait in the conviction that a seed has been planted and that something has already begun, it changes the way we wait.
Active waiting reminds us that we are present in the moment. I am once again reminded that the next moment may be exactly what I have been waiting for.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.