By Sister Elizabeth Langmead, MHSH Vice President
Phil 1:4-6, 8-11
Here we are, already at the second week of Advent! So, how is your waiting time going? Are you longing for the coming of Christmas? Are you waiting in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior? What will the Savior’s coming look like to you…will you notice God’s presence within you and around you?
How difficult it is to wait in our fast paced, high tech, fast food society where we have instant almost anything at our fingertips! What a challenge to wait in anticipation of Christmas when everything around us has been pointing to “the most wonderful time of the year” since sometime in October?
This second week of Advent begins with readings about having joy over all the Lord has done for us and then John the Baptist urges us to prepare the way for God’s coming — to straighten the path and make ready. St. Paul tells us that he prays with joy, confident that the work God has begun in us will continue and that our love will increase so that we will discern what is of value and show ourselves pure and blameless for the day of Christ.
So where do we begin to straighten the path – how do we navigate the valleys and mountains of our lives? Are we able to manifest joy and gratitude for all of God’s gifts, even when they sometimes don’t feel like gifts and we wonder “why me?” Do our lives call others to this God we proclaim as Emmanuel (God with us)?
And so we wait, we long for and hope that all God has promised will come true in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Amidst the busy-ness of our lives, let’s take some time to pause and ask ourselves what or who it is we await. Maybe as we wait in a store line to pay for a purchase we’ve made for someone special, we can become aware of the longing in our hearts for the Prince of Peace. We could touch into the joy we feel being able to give to others…sometimes not even from our abundance but often when we are tired and weary. Or perhaps in a traffic backup we can remind ourselves of where the crookedness is in our lives and how we may go about getting back on track.
May this Advent season bless us with discomfort that calls us to be less complacent when we see injustice. Let this time challenge us to be a voice for peace in a world weary of war. May God help us to be peacemakers in our families, work places and neighborhoods. Let us not let this Advent time pass without our increased anticipation of the miracles of Christmas – faith, hope, love, peace and joy…and of course, that special gift for which your heart yearns!