FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21
"How has God found you while you wait?" by Andrew Howard, Church of the Good Shepherd, Mobile
I am an angler - I like to fish. I also like to hunt. I enjoy the outdoors. I enjoy nature even if I do not catch a fish or see a deer. I have learned over all my years outdoors that I rarely have success finding fish or deer when I rush or am impatient. I have found myself in near calamity when I attempt to rush to either fish or hunt and not be patient. I have almost sunk my boat three times because I was rushing. God stepped in and saved me.
I have a co-worker who asked me what he needs to know about owning a boat and I only said never to be in a rush with a boat. On occasion, that friend repeated that advice about not being in a rush. In these adventures in the outdoors, I have learned that God wants me to be quiet and still so that he can do his work in my life and see his work, and then appreciate it. I have seen an eagle catch a fish right in front of my boat. I have seen lots of beautiful sunsets and sunrises. They are always a marvel to behold.
When fishing, I find that I am successful when I am still and only watch the tip of the fishing rod. Suddenly the tip will bend and there will be a fish on the other end. When I am hunting you must be completely still and quiet. Only when you are still, and quiet will nature reveal itself to you. The birds will sing, the forest animals will show themselves, and then suddenly a deer will appear out of nowhere. You do not have to hunt or fish to see God. You must only be still and quiet and then wait on God. We must give God a chance to work in our lives.
As we think about this Christmas Season the best part is the anticipation before Christmas Day. It is the most exciting part of the season, what is going to happen on Christmas Day. It is wondering what God has in store for each of us as we wait. I have learned that being patient in nature has allowed me to be patient in my own nature, just as God is.
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.