Pastor's Perspective

I’m not good at waiting! For example, I’m not good at waiting in line at the grocery store. I’m really impatient at 5:00pm on Windsor Road when I have to sit through two stoplight cycles. And recently, I’ve come to realize I’m just no good at waiting for our first grandchild to be born. I’ll admit it; I’m rather inpatient and just no good at waiting.

That said, as we enter the season of Advent waiting is exactly what the church calls us to do.

But how do we wait? I mean, in the weeks ahead there’s the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, the house needs to be decorated, lights hung, presents wrapped, and a hundred other things that need to be done. We’re bombarded with Christmas music, Hallmark Christmas movies, and what would Christmas be without taking time to watch the Christmas movie classics, “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Christmas Vacation.”

So…how does the church call us to wait? We wait in worship, gathered together lighting four candles, singing and praying together. We begin the season of Advent (December 2), a season of waiting, and hear the prophet Jeremiah proclaim, “The days are surely coming, says the Lord.” The following week, Advent 2, we hear Malachi proclaim, “See I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me.” Luke tells us about that messenger, John, who proclaims a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Luke knows his Hebrew Scripture and goes on to quote Isaiah, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” We hear the stories, share the word, and together we wait.

The gospel for the fourth Sunday of Advent will be Luke 1:39-45. Sometimes referred to as the Magnificat or Mary’s song. Mary sings of God who looks upon this poor peasant girl. She sings praise to God who has done great things for her. She sings of God who lifts up the oppressed and fills the hungry with good things. It’s one of my favorite biblical texts.

Last fall when I was at a continuing education event, the presenter said, “In our time and place, Mary’s song should be sung not just on the fourth Sunday of Advent but all through the year.” I couldn’t agree more!

When I’m in daily prayer, it helps me wait. One of the Advent prayer resources I plan to use comes from Luther Seminary and is titled Hark the Glad Sound! It contains scripture readings and prayers for each of the days of Advent and may be found by following this link:
https://www.luthersem.edu/Advent/2018_Advent_Devotional.pdf                     I will also place copies in the narthex.

God’s grace and peace to you, as together we wait.

Pastor Tom Hillertz