Holy Everything: we can not go to the last page, we have to wait | Lifestyles – tech2.org

Holy Everything: we can not go to the last page, we have to wait | Lifestyles


Good things come to those who wait.

There are a multitude of expressions that involve waiting. Tomorrow the waiting season begins: Advent. Advent describes the four weeks before Christmas. It is a time to reflect, meditate and wait patiently for Jesus to come.

But wait right there. Did not Jesus come anymore? Why should we wait for him? Well, yes, Jesus came to live among us. Actually, there are three "comings of Christ" that people describe when they talk about Jesus' arrival in our world: the Jesus who came when he was a baby and was born in Bethlehem, the Jesus who daily enters our hearts and lives, and the Jesus who will come again at the end of time.

While we wait for Jesus during the time of Advent, we anticipate the three. By setting aside a waiting season and not just skipping Christmas morning, we honor the importance of patience in all our lives and in the story of God's love for the world. We can not jump to the last page; We have to wait because the book is still being written!

Some prefer to celebrate Advent by hanging plants or special decorations in their homes at the beginning of the season. Other people like to use an Advent calendar or a devotional resource (a free Advent devotion called "Joy for the World" is available for download from Luther's Seminary).

Whether it's singing special hymns, setting aside the time of silence in the morning or breathing and stretching every night, they are all healthy ways to practice waiting. And it really takes practice for most of us. Patience is an internal muscle that benefits from strength training, and Advent is a glorious antidote to a culture that often focuses on instant gratification.

In 1839, a Lutheran pastor in Germany was looking for ways to empower young people to flex their muscles waiting. His name was Johann Hinrich Wichern and he founded a school for children without family and without financial resources. As Christmas approached, he noticed that the children in the school were increasingly impatient. Every morning they woke up and asked if it was still Christmas.

Wichern came up with an idea: he built a wreath with 19 red candles and four white candles. Every day of the week and Saturday, the children and the pastor would light one of the red candles and talk about Jesus and the Christmas story, and on Sundays they would light a white candle. And just like that, the Advent wreath was invented! The great idea of ​​Wichern was the prototype that eventually became the crowns with four candles that many congregations use today.

May your Advent adventure be marked with the beauty of a good wait. What a real gift it is to have four weeks to make room in our hearts and lives for the season's source.

Holy Everything is a weekly column by Emily Carson. She is a Lutheran pastor who serves at the Southeastern Minnesota Synod Office in Rochester. Visit his blog at emilyannecarson.com.

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