Pastor’s Pen

“Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus…Simeon took him in his arms and praised God…”

Simeon waited all his life for this. Day after day he came to the Temple, waiting. He waited not just the four weeks of Advent. He waited his whole life. Simeon was a person of faith, who believed through a vision that before the end of his days, he would see the anticipated Messiah from God, the Light of the world.

We know what it means to wait for something that may change our world. We wait for the tests from the doctor to come back. We wait for the letter in the mail revealing our acceptance to college. We wait for the company to call and offer us a job, after a season out of work. We wait all the time. We know that waiting takes time, but we hate waiting.

Sometimes we busy ourselves with insignificant things to take our mind off the waiting. Resist this temptation in Advent. If your stress level begins to rise, set something down that you are carrying. This year I’m going to set down Christmas cards. I love receiving them, but I’m not going to send them this year for the first time. I hope my friends will forgive me. I hope my church family will understand. I love you. I love my friends. I love my family. I will have more energy to give and receive the light of Christ if I set down this important thing. It’s not that it doesn’t matter, it does, but waiting for Christ takes its own time and fills it’s own space. Advent demands the uncrowded life. I trust that setting down this one thing will free a space that God will fill with something worth waiting for…...

If you find that your step has quickened, stop what you’re doing. Stop now. Breathe. Light an Advent candle, breathe, set out the crèche, breathe, read the gospel of Luke, breathe, pray, breathe. Listen, the Spirit speaks. What will you do this day to create an expectant space that awaits the coming Holy One? And perhaps even more importantly, what will you NOT do this day to create an expectant space that awaits the Holy One in Christ.

Prayer: God of Wonder, your Spirit comes unbidden in the gaps between things, the pregnant and hallow spaces that wait for you. Help us to trust you enough to create empty spaces, as we await your coming through Christ. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Verlee