Advent Reflections

“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor.”

Isaiah 11:1-4a

It’s funny, in a way, that advent is a season of waiting. Because advent means “coming.” Jesus came to earth in the manger. But he was long awaited, just as we now await his final advent.

I realize as I reflect on the process of waiting, that it is something that we are getting less and less skilled at. We have faster internet and faster cars. Everything is at our fingertips. We can call and text and do just about anything from our phones. We don’t like to wait in lines. We can buy gifts online and they are delivered to our doorsteps, sometimes within only a day or two. We are impatient.

But God often does not work quickly. He sent His son to a stable. As an infant. He did not send a leader ready to take Israel with him to power and glory. He sent a baby in swaddling clothes. And even when He was grown, Jesus did not meet the expectations many had for the messiah. He dined with sinners and outcasts. He spent time with women and children. He was not often in a rush.

I wonder how many of us would miss it if he came now. Now that we are so overwhelmed by bright lights and gizmos. Everything is so loud and fast. Are we looking for the right things? Are we waiting at all?

When we step back, and move at a slower pace…this is when we really experience God’s presence in our lives. We can see him in the smiles on our children’s faces, in the birds fluttering at the feeder, in the man playing guitar down town trying to make a few bucks. He is everywhere.

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