by Elaine Pierce
Today is the first Sunday in Advent. I've heard Advent described as a season of "active waiting." As a child, I remember that it was very hard to wait for Christmas. When I had children of my own, the waiting seemed more like a steady race to the finish. Could I get everything done on
time? Would I find the perfect present for each child? Would I be able to get the house clean, the presents wrapped, the tree decorated, the cookies baked, and on and on - there was no time to wait! So whether you are in the season of life that there is never enough time, or whether the time seems to creep slowly by, take time this advent season - even if it's just moments between laundry and work and car pools and all the craziness of our lives - for reflection and pondering.
Isaiah tells us that "the people walking in darkness have seen a great light...a light has dawned." (v. 2) This morning, I saw an incredible sunrise over Lake Erie. One moment the sky was pink and orange, and suddenly, a bright orange ball popped up over the horizon. The sun in all its glory had made a breathtaking entrance. And just like that, the light had dawned. I had to endure several minutes of bitter cold and wind, but it was, for this, well worth it to see this blaze of beauty and color.
Isaiah tells us that a child will be born, and he will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (v. 6 - Go ahead and sing it - it's hard not to, isn't it?) We know, of course, that this child was none other than Jesus, God's only Son. As we look forward to celebrating his birth, let's not lose sight of the good gifts God has given us, and let's thank him each day for how he leads us and guides us. Yes, we are still waiting for his triumphant return, but we know with certainty that his kingdom will have no end.
Christmas is coming. Advent is here. Rejoice, and look to the light.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of time. As we wait to celebrate your son's birth, help us in this time of active waiting to draw near to you. Thank you for each new dawn. Thank you for the gift of new hope and light at Christmas. Amen.