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Part of Advent is learning to wait for God

Waiting. That’s something we’re not very good at, is it?   

Much of our technology today is designed to keep us from waiting.

We get fast food, instant news and weather on our smart phones, lightning fast internet so we can have instant access to infinite amounts of data and information.  We have an instant culture now impatient with having to wait.  Yet we have a God who often asks us to wait. 

Be still and know I am God. Psalm 46:10. God asks us to make ourselves quiet so that we can receive the truth. Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength says Isaiah in Isaiah 40:31.

Creative waiting is part of God’s plan. Jacob waits in Laban’s house for the right bride. Job waits for God to explain why he is in such dire straits. The people of Israel have to wait 40 years to enter into the Promised Land. And waiting is something we all do whether we like it or not.  We know about waiting – like a mother carrying a child in her womb, she waits for the child to be born. Parents wait for their teenager to become an adult. A child waits for Christmas. 

We know about waiting – we just don’t seem to like it very much.

This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, and it is a time of waiting whether we want to wait or not. We are waiting for Jesus to come. We are waiting to celebrate his birth and his coming the first time, and we are also waiting for him to come again. 

Advent is a time of waiting.  During the first Sunday in Advent we light the candle of hope. Therefore, our waiting is in anticipation of something good.  We hope a Savior is coming, of course, to be born in us again.

But if we barrel toward Christmas oblivious to the reality of our lives, bolstered by too much eggnog and running on adrenaline after late-night shopping sprees, senses overwhelmed by too much sugar and too many jingle bells, well, then we will never really stop long enough to remember how much we need a Savior.  

We have to pause and wait, in the quiet and darkness, in the hush and stillness, not to rush toward the idyllic manger stuffed with sweet-smelling hay and bathed in the light of a star.  Advent invites us to sit in the darkness with only the flickering light of a candle, even for just a little while, to remember that we really need a Savior.

Rev. Dale Brown is the pastor of Cumberland and Guinea Presbyterian churches. His email address is dalembesq@aol.com.