Sunday, December 1, 2013

Advent at home (kind of)

I have to admit- I'm not eager to go back to the place of waiting. Today is December 1, the first Sunday in Advent. The day where I am supposed to stand in front of my congregation and tell people to "slow down" and experience the "holy waiting" of Christ's birth.

You see, I feel like my little Christmas miracle is already here- all 2 lbs 9oz of him, Douglas Brian Ridings in the NICU just a few miles away from me this morning.  My loving congregations in Thomas County are leading themselves through Advent, no one is expecting my presence this morning. Believe it or not, pastors, your church can be church without you. And they are doing an incredible job.

Normally, I would at least be present for the first Sunday of Advent in our church away from home here in SLC, Granger Community Christian Church.  However, this morning I'm sick. I don't need to be around church folks, and a certainly don't need to be around my tiny son.

And so I am remembering what it is to wait again.  David and I wanted to be parents as soon as we got married- so really we have waited for six and a half years for this precious little one.  We finished part of our paperwork in January, the other part in August- and then the real waiting began.  Birth mothers looked at our profile book, we thought we might have our little one several times before we actually got our miracle.  And he's the perfect one for us. He is so very tiny to have his mom and dad so fully wrapped around his finger already.

I have not forgotten the waiting place, though.  Some days in the waiting place I thought I would lose my mind (Advent can get that way sometimes- just ask a child ready for the big day to arrive).  The waiting place can be a scary place- perhaps that is why in every Christmas scripture we read an angel has to say, "Fear not!" before delivering the message. Waiting on something you have no control over can teach you a thing or two.

As much as we do not like to wait, we spend much of our lives doing it. The key is to not forget to live in the waiting time. David and I didn't stop going to work, or going out on dates together, or playing with our dogs because we were waiting. Life happens in the waiting time. Cool stuff happens. I mean, I started running for heaven's sake- who knew?

Also, God is in the waiting. But you knew that already. That is why we have a season of waiting and preparation before our big high holy days. We have Lent and we have Advent, because God would like us to just slow the heck down and prepare our hearts and minds for the big 'ol miracle that we call Christmas (or Easter).

Jesus isn't gonna be born when it is convenient for you, if you don't believe me, just ask Mary, I'm fairly certain a stable was not in her birth plan.

As willingly as I can, I will enter into the waiting season again. I will not be afraid, or if I get that way, I will remember all that "fear not" stuff. I will trust in God to bring me through this season as God has done in every other waiting season of my life.

Happy Waiting.  Happy Advent.
(written in my apartment in Salt Lake City, instead of being preached in front of one congregation or another)


Unknown said...

"live in the waiting time".... a powerful message for all of us. You may not have been with your congregation this morning but you delivered a powerful message through your writing.

Rhonda Sly said...

You are so awesome! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sunny....we all needed that reminder!!! What a wonderful Advent Sunday sermon. We miss you. Will try to post some pictures of our church decorating party/supper/program.