West Chelmsford United Methodist Church
Friday, December 19, 2014
This is the season of the church year when we speak of waiting and trusting. It is almost Advent, the time of waiting and trusting for God’s salvation to be accomplished in Jesus Christ. On a practical level, we are waiting for Christmas to come on December 25; on a spiritual level we are waiting with all of God’s people through the centuries who waited in trust and hope for God to save God’s people.
Waiting and trusting are both somewhat foreign to these times. Our society is speeded up, accelerated, and we want what we want now. A while back I saw part of a program on television variety shows in the 60’s and 70’s. A variety show had many different types of entertainment to appeal to a variety of interests. If the current act wasn’t your cup of tea, you just had to wait until the next one, or the one after that. The commentator suggested that the end of variety shows came with the remote control, which made it easy for us to change channels. Why sit through an act you don’t like, when you can push a button and watch something you do like on another channel? We don’t want to wait, whether it’s waiting in line at the bank (now we use ATM’s or online banking) or it’s waiting for Christmas to come (we put up our decorations earlier and earlier in December). Yet waiting for Christmas is precisely what Advent is about.
As I write this article we are waiting for the grand jury in Ferguson, MO to decide whether to indict the police officer who was involved in the shooting of Michael Brown. For weeks, it seems, we have been told that an announcement is immanent, only to hear the same message the next day, and the next. With so much interest in the case, it has been hard to wait – to let the legal process take its course. We wait for justice, but find we are not in charge of the timing. I think that is similar to the message of Advent for Christians of all times. God makes the promises, and God is in charge of the timing.
If waiting is out of style these days, then so is trusting. We have just finished an election season in which most candidates suggested that we should not trust their opponents. Trust in our institutions, such as the government and even the church, is at an all-time low.
Yet our faith calls us in this season to put our trust in God, waiting and trusting in God’s salvation. No matter how much we hate to wait, that is what God’s people have done throughout the centuries. No matter how little we sometimes trust one another, our faith call us to trust in God.
May this Advent season invite you into a deeper appreciation of the One we all are waiting for and trusting in. May you be drawn closer to God who, in this season, chooses to draw closer to us.