Pastor Shawn Hannon
Hope Lutheran Church Arcade, NY
Last week my youngest turned two, and when she did my oldest learned yet again that it’s not always about her. While she handled her jealousy as well as could be expected and joined in the celebration, when the party ended there was a certain degree of sulking. In fact, at one point she even exclaimed, “Great! Perry gets all the birthdays!” And no matter how many times we explained her birthday was coming she shrugged each off saying, “I’m never going to have another birthday again.” She will, of course, have another birthday again. Many more, in fact. But to a 4 year old days are years and April is a lifetime away. Try to remind myself to have patience. It’s not easy waiting to turn 5.
Or maybe it would be more accurate to say it’s just not easy waiting.
Even for us.
And that might be why the phrase “wait on the Lord” appears so often in scripture. Because God knows God’s people are waiting. Waiting like enslaved Jews in Egypt for deliverance. Waiting like Abraham and Sarah four their descendants to outnumber the stars. Waiting like the hemorrhaging woman who was ill for 12 years. Waiting like the man blind from birth. Waiting like Simeon and Anna for the promised Messiah. Waiting. Waiting for a cure for cancer or at least for the chemo to do the trick. Waiting for a meaningful career with a living compensation. Waiting for forgiveness from an old friend. Waiting for peace.
And, again, it’s not always easy. But thankfully, this time of year gives us an opportunity to practice how we wait. That’s one big reason why this is my favorite time of the year. You see, the weeks before Christmas are about preparation. Christmas isn’t simply about Jesus being born before, after all. This season is just as much about how God is coming again. About how God recognizes that we are all waiting on something, and God will not disappoint.
And here’s the thing. When I was a kid it always felt like Christmas was never coming. We had a calendar and we moved a mouse from pocket to pocket as each day drew us closer, but I never saw such a ridiculously slow mouse in my life. But you know what? Christmas always came, and now as an adult looking back it’s hard for me to believe it’s Christmas again already.
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Whatever you’re waiting for, may you be strong and courageous in your preparation. And may the peace of this season be yours with the realization that God’s promise is always fulfilled, even when it seems a lifetime away.
For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.