Advent: The Challenge of Waiting

00In this Season of Advent we learn about waiting. Waiting is painful; it brings anxiety and in some cases causes us to wonder – “Where is God?”, “Does God sleep?”, “Does he care?”    Malachi had spoken of the Messiah’s coming in chapter 1 “I have loved you, saith the LORD. Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me saying ‘the Lord, whom ye seek is coming to his temple, for he brings a new covenant, a new day of delight. Will you stand with him when he appeareth? For his message is like a refiner’s fire.”   Imagine being the Jewish people hearing these words of promise, the coming of a new day, a new hope and then suddenly silence. After these words from Malachi there was cold, tortuous silence for 400 years. Between the Old Testament and the New Testament it seemed as if God disappeared. Nothing was spoken and nothing moved.    Jesus did not arrive into a quaint storyline. There were thousands of people hanging on the words of Malachi who did not see these words fulfilled. There are no easy answers as to why God would take his time. In our […]

Nurturing the Moment

00During this season of Advent, here are some profound nuggets of truth I’m learning on a deeper level. Advent is the time when we practice the discipline of waiting. We focus our attention on the hope to come. We set our hearts on God’s not-yet-seen promises rather than our unfulfilling circumstances in the present. We join the saints who even now are crying “How long?” before God’s ultimate Kingdom shows itself (Rev 6:10), longing for the world to be put to rights. We take the long view, keep our eyes on the big picture, and walk on. Henri Nouwen in his writings points out that waiting is not doing nothing and twiddling our thumbs. Waiting is a vital, engaged, active stance we take in the life of faith. It’s a matter of responding to God in the present—right here and now, in the wilderness—hearing and nourishing ourselves on the presence of Jesus. (Ps 27:14) Henri Nouwen’s words drive this home. He describes waiting as “nurturing the moment.”“A waiting person is a patient person. The word “patience” means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will […]