She sat in my office asking me questions about worship.
She was a student from the Gwinnett Community College. She was from Kenya. She grew up Methodist but married a Revivalist. She had come to learn how others worshipped. The robes, the seating, the candles, the standing and sitting, the call and response, the stole, the colors, the seasons, the readings, and the unfamiliar. Why do we what we do?
As I told her the meaning behind all the symbols and ways of worship, her face would light up and say, “Oh, I get it”, or “That’s nice.” The more she learned, the greater understanding he had, and the deeper her experience. It was all new to her yet routine to me.
Here we are again, Advent. That season that pulls me out of the gravitational pull of cultural traditions of “Pre” Christmas sales. What were they thinking when they placed this season on the church calendar? Well, they were thinking of a reflective heart, because the commercial practices were not around. Now the latter out shines and overshadows the original.
But not quite yet! Her ears perked and her smile widened as I explained the tradition of Advent, the joyous color of blue, the messages of hope for people in despair, the anticipation of a Savior who could deliver us from ourselves, and the deep belief that all will be made new in His due season.
Love is great but Hope is a close second. In fact, Hope makes loving easier.
Young hearts hope and dream of a day when they will be with the one they love. They put their yearnings to music, their hearts pump out poetry, and they sleep late hoping that the dream will not end.
When I pull out of the practices and habits of our culture and have some time for silence, I breathe. I close my eyes. I dream. I dream of a day when the demands of work and family are no more. The year-end practices of budgets are over. The stresses of getting it right end. The eternal disease of sin, in all of its manifestations, is cured. All – is – well! That is Advent.
Advent is a promise made by God that that day does come.
While I will be with you hustling for the best buy, preparing the meals, attending the parties, getting everything in order, somewhere deep in my soul will be a burning desire for something greater, so much greater that I cannot make it happen. I pull away into my silence, into my worship, and hope and believe and dream and sing and trust that God is true to His promise.
That is going to be one great day. My prayer and hope for you is that the promise will be true for all of you!
Hope Makes Loving Easier
In His Service