Dear good folks,
Does it seem to you that for quite a while now, the whole world has been waiting? Waiting for cures, waiting for answers, waiting for a return to things that brought us much joy? It almost feels as if the world has been holding its collective breath for what seems like forever, trying to peer ahead into the future, wondering when and how answers will come. Our waiting may be undefined – at times, I think we wait for something we can’t fully describe, even to ourselves. But we wait, and we hope – with a hope that is more like a wish, blown out to a world that can be chaotic and very unpredictable.
There is a different kind of hope though, and we, as people of Jesus, know of it. As we come to the brink of the church’s celebration of Advent, we enter into a season of Christian waiting. In this time of shorter days and longer nights, the dying of the old gives way to the coming of the new. And in the midst of loss, we wait and we hope quietly for the one who will bring with Him new life. We wait for what is to be; we yearn and hope for grace and peace, and yes, joy.
So, what’s the difference in these two ways of hoping? I believe that it is the element of expectation in our wait for the birth of baby Jesus, the expectation of what we know to be true, linked to that certain Christian hope that marks us as followers. This isn’t a passive kind of waiting, or a wishing on a star type of thing, but a waiting that is active and very alive, firm in faith and belief. It’s a patient waiting in hope and expectation that allows us to call things that are not yet, as if they already were. Because even when things look very dark, we have a light shining on the inside that extinguishes the dark. We are not left at the mercy of the changes and chances of this life. Christ is coming.
Join us this season in all of the ways we’ll mark this time of hope and expectation as a parish family at St. Luke’s. You’ll see much in the Evangelist about all of our coming offerings to help you and guide you. And we wish you the most blessed of Advent seasons.