While We Wait: Day 9
Each day during Advent, we will post some sort of reflection having to do with waiting, anticipation, hope. Each one will be different, each one a chance to pause and take a breath during this busy season. Past posts are archived here.
Anticipation is a word I rarely use favorably. I use it with the ominous accompaniments of anxiety, doubt and fear; especially during December. Instead of anticipating, I dread. Instead of looking forward, I’m anxious. Instead of prayer, I petition.
“I think Christmas is about celebration and come on, on the inside everyone wants to dance.” TobyMac
I take the crazy train during December. I’m unfocused and often overwhelmed by the lights, the sounds, the crowds and the parking paralysis. I try to quash the disease of ‘Iwantitis’ as it rears its ugly head. I’m not alone in feeling so inept during the Christmas mayhem amid the waves of bright lights, shiny expensive toys and exaggerated sense of duty.
All that aside for a moment, there’s no event more highly anticipated that the Birth of Jesus. People waited thousands and thousands of years. They waited impatiently through plagues, floods, starvation, darkness, fear, doubt, anxiety, tribulation, annihilation, poverty, segregation, loss of family. A nation was enslaved, lost in deserts, following false idols for years, wandering aimlessly. Without hope, faith, renewal. Some still held out for the promise of the Messiah. Some like Mary.
Imagine being a young teenage girl, engaged to a good man- and SWOOP! The Angel of the LORD, that’s right, THE ANGEL OF THE LORD- appears and I’m paraphrasing here:
“Hey, you’re going to have a baby through the Holy Spirit, and he will be the Savior of the world.”
Um, WHAT? Huh? Seriously? Always my immediate reactions to reading this passage. But not Mary. Mary simply said: “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
But wait, THERE’S MORE. (just like discounts, coupons, ginsu knives and fruitcakes) and its OFTEN OVERLOOKED:
I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength, scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses, pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet; the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel; he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised, beginning with Abraham and right up to now.
I love Luke 1: 26-55, (The Message) because it describes the true spirit of anticipation.
Instead of dreadful anticipation this season, I’m going to channel Mary and try bursting with God-News, celebrating the birth of Christ with dancing the song of our Savior, whose mercy washes over us and who knocks tyrants off of horses. Who delivers exactly what He promised. Whose name is very Holy and set apart from all others. Right up to now. Right up through tomorrow.
Even while vying for a parking place.
Today’s post was written by Berit Kimrey. Berit has been chasing baseball players her entire life and that’s still true today. She’s a self-proclaimed beach bunny, baseball mom, laundry warrior, hot mess, poder cards muse and book nerd. After years of wandering the wilderness of Little Rock churches, the Kimrey’s found their way to Fellowship North in 2005; they loved the coffee bar and stuck around for the Christmas punch.