Mat’s December Letter

One of the few words that our dogs understand is ‘wait’. We say it as we give them food (and just before we cross roads). I recently found myself wondering what goes through their minds when we say it. Before people worry, the reason for this canine reflection is Advent.

Waiting is one of the key themes of the Advent season. Aside from the childlike waiting and excitement at the coming gifts of Christmas (the new John Lewis advert picks up on this brilliantly), we are also to prepare to celebrate the arrival of Jesus in Bethlehem by waiting on God. We remember the wait that God’s people endured for the Messiah and we reflect on our waiting and longing for Jesus’ return. Advent Calendars and the Jesse Tree are designed to help us wait. But waiting isn’t just about passively hanging around for something to happen. Biblical waiting is active and positive.

Psalm 62Open Link in New Window is about trusting in God alone (NRSV);

“For God alone my soul waits in silence:
from Him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
my fortress;
I shall never be shaken.”

Waiting is about learning to trust God, God’s ways and timing. We wait for God and God alone, because we trust that God alone provides our salvation and security.

Waiting is about expectation. The psalmist doesn’t wait on the off chance that God might pass by. They wait because they expect to meet with God. They wait on God, enjoying the time in God’s presence and expecting to hear from God. God is always aware of us; in the waiting we expect and hope to become more aware of God.

Waiting is also about service. Traditionally, royalty have ladies in waiting. A privileged role in which the ladies wait to serve the Queen in whatever capacity is required. We wait to serve.

As we enter the festive hustle of Christmas preparation let’s commit to spending some time waiting on God.

The church chapel has been refurbished and prepared for Advent prayer. Do take advantage of that.


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