Sunday, December 2, 2018

Waiting for the Lord

December 2, 2018 –– The First Sunday of Advent
Jeremiah 33:14–16 / 1 Thessalonians 3:12–4:2 / Luke 21:25–28, 34–36
Waiting for the Lord

Advent begins with this Gospel that reminds us of hard things because we live in a world that does indeed have terrible things. Christian Faith does not turn away from what is difficult; the message and model of Jesus invites us to call a thing what it is. But we do not dwell on the bad news. We believe that God is at work even in the darkest and most difficult times. Christians know that our Lord is at work in and beyond the threats and discouragements.

In Advent we are called to wait for the Lord. We believe that Jesus came to fulfill Jeremiah's promise of the righteous branch. He fed the hungry, he healed the sick, and gave himself a ransom for our sins. Jesus wants us to know that this world still belongs to God. Nothing must shake our faith nor weaken our resolve that God is in charge and that Jesus is coming again.

We can feel like it’s up to us to fix things. We can feel guilty if we don’t fix ourselves the way we think we should be. In Advent we remember that God is at work; he is going to make things right, even if it’s not the way we expect or on our time schedule.

Henri Nouwen wrote a book called Sabbatical Journeys. He tells about some friends of his who were trapeze artists. They told Nouwen that there's a special relationship between flyer and catcher on the trapeze. The flyer is the one that lets go, and the catcher is the one that catches. As the flyer swings high above the crowd on the trapeze, the moment comes when he must let go. He arcs out into the air. His job is to remain as still as possible and wait for the strong hands of the catcher to pluck him from the air. One of them told Nouwen, "The flyer must never try to catch the catcher." The flyer must wait in absolute trust. The catcher will catch him, but he must wait.

As our hearts desire the promise of Christmas, we need to learn to wait. We may feel that we’re suspended in mid-air––far beyond our comfort zone. Advent tells us that, in the midst of things that can make us impatient and even hurt, our Lord is with us on the journey. Wait on the Lord….

I suggest a little exercise for the next four weeks. When you sit in the soft glow of your Christmas tree some evening or when you enjoy the delicious food at a holiday party, at some point remind yourself that these things are not mere pleasant distractions. Holiday ambiance is not a brief opportunity to forget the world's troubles for a little while. Rather, it is a reminder that even as the darkness swirls around us, we live in the Light that shines in the darkness. It is a Light that no darkness can prevent from shining. As the holiday lights shine around us,  remember…. the Lord is near….. the Lord is here.

No comments:

Site Meter