Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:4
Advent is soon upon us. This great season at the beginning of the church year is a time of expectation, of hope, and of anticipation. It is a time when we wait. That’s right – we wait. Not something we are accustomed to in this world of immediate gratification. We are all going a million miles a minute.
There is a lot happening around us nowadays. I asked a friend once how he was doing. His reply – “I am busier than a one legged man in an arse kicking contest!” A little crass, but most of us can identify with that. Sadly, we have allowed it. So busy have we made ourselves that we cannot put down a cell phone long enough to drive 3 kms from the office to home. Last Monday London Police laid almost 60 charges for cell phone use, and if they had passed me that day I probably would have joined their ranks. My point is – we allow ourselves to be consumed. Advent is a time when the Church allows us the freedom to say – ENOUGH! We can stop and be still and we can wait. Wait for the Lord, whose day is near!
JI Packer in Knowing God wrote:
“Wait on the Lord” is a constant refrain in the Psalms, and it is a necessary word, for God often keeps us waiting. He is not in such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for action in the present, or to guide us more than one step at a time. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. When action is needed, light will come.”
That is a reassuring message, but it is one that is hard for us to digest in a world obsessed with the rushing constantly from step to stern. Hard for us when we want to know the ultimate outcome before its even close to time. Can we have faith that when we do not know what is coming next, that we can be patient, wait for God, and know that when it is time to act, light will come?
As we prepare to bolt out of the gate toward Black Friday sales, Christmas socials, kids functions, etc – let’s just all stop for a moment. Let us stop, and offer prayers that we might be able to step away from all that consuming we do, and all that consuming of us that we tolerate.
St. Aidan’s will offer a space each Wednesday, beginning tonight, in which we might be still and in which we can pray expectantly for God to guide us – one step at a time. Our Advent Vespers will run from 8-830 on Wednesday evenings. No preaching – just evening prayers, candle light, quietude, and the sights, sounds, and smell of prayerful anticipation. Please join us if you can!