Across the Pastor’s Desk: What is the church waiting for?
Published 6:45 pm Thursday, November 29, 2018
Across the Pastor’s Desk by Jennifer Gonsalves
We are officially in a season of waiting. Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is coming and until then we wait in this season that the church calls Advent.
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Sometimes I think about how we spend so much of our lives waiting for something to happen, whether in a doctor’s office, the back seat of a long car ride or simply for the end of the workday. We spend a lot of time counting the minutes and the hours of each day until we reach a certain time.
And this is also true as we go through life. As a kid we eagerly await each birthday so as we can proudly say we are now this many years old. As we grow, those birthdays hold more meaning as we wait for 16 so we can drive, 18 so we can be an adult, 21, to drink. Then as birthdays become less monumental, we wait for those life-changing events, graduation, marriage, children, your first home, the big vacation you always wanted, grandchildren, retirement and more. Then, as we near the end of our life, we wait with friends and family through sickness and death as we wait for our own.
Personally, I know that in my life I have accomplished many of my educational, career and travel goals, but still I can’t help but dwell on the hopes and dreams that I want to accomplish: marriage, kids, home ownership. And while there are days and seasons of life where I feel the longing for what I do not yet or may never have stronger than others — the feeling of wanting and waiting and longing is one I can relate to, which is why Advent is a season of the church year that resonates with me.
Advent is a time of waiting, of preparation, of hope. The beauty of this time is that Advent gives voice to longing in our hearts and minds and souls — that our long wait will soon be over. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” we sing with hope and expectation. Because in our hearts we have faith that God will come and we long for the day when all that is wrong and messed up in the world and in our lives will be no more. We long for the day when peace on Earth will be more than just a wish or a dream but a reality. And we long for the day where will see God’s face and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is with us and we are with God.
But until then we wait. We wait with expectation and hope. We wait with longing and anticipation. And we wait for our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has come, is coming and will come again to renew this weary world and fill us all with his hope and love and peace.
And that is something worth waiting for.
Jennifer Gonsalves is the associate pastor at Grace Lutheran Church.