From the Desk of Rev. Beth
Rev. Elizabeth Stotts, Pastor
December 1st marks the first Sunday in the season of Advent – the four-week period of time leading up to Christmas. Some call it “The Season of Expectant Waiting”.
Expectant waiting. While the central question of Advent is about hopeful, expectant waiting, we need to stop and ask ourselves, what are we waiting for?
There are so many things we expectantly wait for during Advent.
- We wait for the semester to end so we can enjoy a time of rest and relaxation after loads of hard work.
- We wait for the family time and get-togethers, to see those we love and maybe haven’t gotten to see in a long time.
- We wait to make and eat our favorite dishes; food that at first bite holds deep memory.
- We wait to see the look on a loved one’s face when they open that perfect present we picked out for them.
- We wait to open our own presents, to see what new toys and gadgets we’ll get to play with.
- We wait for our favorite Christmas carol to play on the radio, or for our favorite Christmas special or Christmas movie to air on TV.
- We wait to see our kids or grandkids perform in their Christmas programs and pageants, singing the songs we sang as kids, re-enacting the story that has been done and re-done, year after year.
But what we really wait for, expectantly, is the birth of a tiny, helpless baby, “asleep on the hay” and what that baby represents.
In the gospels, we are introduced to a cast of characters also in a period of waiting. Elizabeth and Zachariah, Mary and Joseph are all waiting for babies.
We wait too. Have you ever gotten out your nativity set and imagined putting yourself in it? Where would you stand? Would you be next to the angel? Next to Mary looking into the manger with pure love and awe? Maybe you’re next to the donkey, thanking it for its hard work.
As we wait this Advent season, I wonder, with all depth and seriousness: “Where are you in the story?” “What are you waiting for?” and furthermore, “What does it represent to you?” I’ve lived through many Advents in my life, and I’m not sure I know concretely what I’m waiting for this year. Do you? I’d love to hear what you think.
In Christ's love,