FOR MONDAY, DECEMBER 19
"Do you know if you will get what you are waiting for now, or is it unsure? How does that shape your waiting?" by the Rev. Mary Alice Mathison, St. Luke's, Mobile
When I read this question, I knew exactly what I was waiting for. It was like the question was meant for me. I have been waiting, longing, and at times aching, for something I’m not sure exists or is meant for me.
Waiting in the unknowable is a lonely place to be sometimes. You occupy your mind with hope and expectation and dreams of what may come, but you also occupy your mind with worry, anxiety, and self-loathing. It’s a delicate balance to take all that and walk through the day-to-day—not wanting anyone to notice the extra weight of waiting you carry, but sometimes wishing someone would. The load is heavy and having someone help carry it for a while creates the space for perseverance. That’s why therapists, spiritual directors, and best friends are essential.
The deepest longings of our hearts take time to sort out. Sometimes we worry we have missed out. But, if those longings had been met without waiting, one would likely be a very different person. Waiting has brought discernment, reevaluation and reorientation. It’s in the waiting where I’ve discovered myself. And it’s in the waiting where God sits with me—on the days when hope is overflowing and especially the days of grief and sorrow.
Reading for this week: Matthew 1: 18-25
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
Collect for this week:
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Join us this Advent as we explore what it’s like to wait! We are offering a collection of daily questions and reflections inviting us to consider what we experience and learn in our waiting, and how we find God - and God finds us - in our waiting.
Each Sunday a brief video will be shared on Facebook and Instagram to introduce us to a focus and reflection for the week. Each day a question will be posted for us to ponder. You are invited to share your own reflections by replying to these posts or reposting on your personal social media. Please follow and use #diocgcwaits. Be sure to follow our diocesan social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram; search: DioCGC.