FOR MONDAY, ADVENT II
“What's the most important thing you have waited for?” by Dianne Saloom, St. Stephen's, Brewton
It’s Advent – a time of waiting. We are always waiting for something; sometimes wonderful big things like the birth of a baby and sometimes small things like the first cup of coffee in the morning. Sometimes we wait with dread for the passing of a loved one or sometimes hopefully awaiting something like the end of allergy season. But waiting for Christmas is different; like children, we are awaiting the rebirth of Jesus in our hearts. I wait upon the Lord with joyful expectation.
But I wasn’t always like that. Growing up I learned that I was a sinful worm who had hurt God so badly that He had to die for me and that I shouldn’t bother Him with my little problems. Instead, I took up my mother’s mantra, “Just try harder, young lady.” And I applied that to every aspect of my life, with some successes and some great disappointments. One of those was my marriage. Although I tried really, really hard in a miserable marriage, I couldn’t do it alone and the marriage died. I finally had to acknowledge that hard work and willpower are not enough. I’m not God and I shouldn’t try to be. I don’t have the wisdom or power or love. I took my broken self to the Lord and He loved and healed me. I embraced and loved my new church family and they loved me. I became active, working with the youth group and it was through a church function that I met a wonderful, godly man. We fell in love and when I realized that Christ was at the center, I knew the Lord had sent him. And in God’s amazing love, He also gave me my secret heart’s desire – to be a mother. This man had an adopted child, a wonderful, bright, loving boy who opened his heart to me and let me be his loving mother. Over the years, I have found that God’s plans are so much better than mine. Even when things don’t turn out the way I hoped and anticipated, when I look closely, I find that God has provided for me, even if it is a painful lesson that I needed to learn. So every day, wherever I am, I am on the lookout for a God surprise, maybe a person I meet in the grocery store or finding a new wildflower on my walk in the woods. So, I eagerly wait upon the Lord. “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.”
Reading for the week: Isaiah 11: 1-10
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,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.
Collect for the week:
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and 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.