November 29, 2020
We Wait Expectantly
By Paul Huffman
My friend, Nhuih, fled his homeland in Vietnam almost 20 years ago to escape religious persecution. Now, because of societal and governmental changes in the country, he eagerly anticipates returning to his country and being reunited with his wife and family. Throughout these years in exile, his faith in God has not diminished as he has waited patiently and with hope for a new day to dawn in his country. As we enter this period of Advent, we wait expectantly for the gift of the Holy One. While we wait, we are mindful that there are those who wait with us who are separated from family, who have been victims of the pandemic, who mourn the loss of loved ones, and for other reasons suffer pain and disillusionment. While we wait expectantly, may we offer hope and seek to be a blessing to those who wait with us. And to those who wait in chaos and despair, may they know a release from bondage and experience the peace that passes understanding.
In the words of author Jan Richardson:
“To all that is chaotic in you, let there come silence.
Let there be a calming of the clamoring,
a stilling of the voices that have laid their claims on you,
that have made their home in you, that go with you even to the holy places
but will not let you rest, will not let you hear your life with wholeness
or feel the grace that fashioned you.
Let what distracts you cease. Let what divides you cease.
Let there come an end to what diminishes and demeans,
and let depart all that keeps you in its cage.
Let there be an opening into the quiet that lies beneath the chaos,
where you find the peace that you did not think possible
and see what shimmers within the storm.”
As we wait in the stillness of this Advent season, may we hold each other close and comfort those who mourn, those who know pain and suffering during this time; may we seek the good of mankind as we anticipate healing and wholeness and the light of Christ in our world.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
From the words of the 1879 hymn, “O Master Let Me Walk With Thee”, we offer this prayer: “In hope that sends a shining ray far down the future’s broadening way, in peace that only thou canst give, with thee, O Master, let me live.”