Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Waiting for the Impossible

Advent. Outside of the church walls (and to be even more specific, liturgical church walls) this word is not used very often.
Contrary to popular belief, we are NOT in the Christmas season. Not yet anyways.We are in the season of Advent. According to Wikipedia.com Advent means:

Arrival or Coming

Advent is the time in the church year that we wait for the coming of Jesus. It starts the Sunday after Thanksgiving and lasts all the way through Christmas Eve. Then starting Christmas Day is the 12 days of Christmas.   So we are waiting right now for our partridge in a pear tree.
According to Dr. Seuss this would be called: "The Waiting Place…for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting." - Oh! The Places You'll Go!
We all have to wait around sometimes. Right now I am impatiently anticipating when I get to go up north for Christmas to see my family and friends. I leave in 2 days. It can't come fast enough. 
I think Advent is more than waiting for gifts and singing Christmas songs. It's waiting for something deeper. A few years ago at the church I was attending the sermon theme one December morning was "Waiting for God to do the Impossible." Or at least that was what I wrote at the top of the page in my Bible that morning. What's interesting, is that the passage I wrote that about was the reading for this past Sunday.

"Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

How long do we have to wait for God to do the impossible?

Today's song is from the point of view of Simeon. We don't think about Simeon very often, and that's one of the reasons why I love Todd Agnew's Christmas album. He makes us think about the more "obscure" characters too. 
Because they were good Jews, Mary and Joseph took Jesus when he was eight days old to be circumcised (OUCH!) to the temple in Jerusalem.

"While fulfilling these sacred obligations at the temple, they encountered a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was a just and pious man, anticipating the liberation of Israel from her troubles. He was a man in touch with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Liberating King." Luke 2:25-26 The Voice

How long would he have to wait for God to do the impossible?
What's your impossible?
Maybe you have heard yourself asking these questions:

When is my life going to finally start coming together?
When am I going to start loving myself?
Is he/she/they ever going to love me back? 
Am I ever going to get rid of the label "unemployed"
Will I ever be able to pass this class?
When will I have courage?
When will my friend/family member finally recover? 
When will I finally recover?
Will I ever fit in?
Will I ever be happy again?              
How long do I have to wait for God to do the impossible?

But God did do the impossible. 
"The Spirit had led him to the temple that day, and there he saw Jesus in the arms of His parents, who were fulfilling their sacred obligations. Simeon took Jesus into his arms and blessed God. 
'Now, Lord and King, You can let me, Your humble servant, die in peace. You promised me that I would see with my own eyes what I'm seeing now:  Your liberation, raised up in the presence of all peoples. He is the light who reveals Your message to the other nations, and He is the shining glory of Your covenant people, Israel.'" Luke 2:29-32 The Voice

That's Christmas. God doing the impossible. Taking the unlikely in this world and giving them honor. Bringing light where it is so dark it's impossible to have light. Bringing hope to the hopeless. God fulfilling his promises that seem impossible. Creating a Christmas miracle. 

"God kept his word. He is called Jesus. Son of David, Son of Joseph, Son of God. He is called Jesus, the Prince of Peace and the Holy One, of Israel. Messiah, Redeemer, and King. He is called Jesus, God's word made flesh for me."
So what's your impossible? What is your Christmas miracle?

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like the Christmas season is actually quite short then! I like advent calendars.


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