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    December 18, 2019

    Last Sunday as I preached about Zechariah I jokingly suggested that we all ought to adopt a new spiritual practice for Advent in his honour. In case you didn’t catch the sermon (which you can read at faithunited.ca) Zechariah was the father of John the Baptizer and when Zechariah said “Sh’yeah right!” to the angel who announced John’s unlikely arrival, well, the angel gave him the gift of silence until the birth. That got me thinking. Silence until the birth. Prayerfulness and reflection until the day of celebration. And while nine months is ridiculous surely we all could manage a paltry four weeks of silence during Advent. Right? Needless to say, I didn’t have anyone signing up – but more than a few people were keen to sign someone else up!

    Waiting is hard. I don’t know what was going on in Zechariah’s mind for nine months of silent waiting, but I can’t imagine it was easy. We preachers spend a lot of energy trying to help folks understand the importance of marking the season of Advent with prayerfulness and anticipation and not just leaping ahead to the big party at Christmas. We make a big deal about not singing Christmas carols too early because theologically we’re still in waiting mode. And then we get into our cars after worship and turn on the radio and guess what! Christmas everywhere. Oh well.

    What I think we need to do a better job of is saying how uncomfortable waiting can be. The thing that’s coming is so great, and we are absolutely sure it’s coming, and we know it’ll be worth it, but the waiting can be agonising. I ordered myself a new guitar for my birthday – back in November. It’s a fancy limited edition model. The problem is that there is absolutely no way to know when it will arrive. Some people already have theirs. Others have heard of delivery dates in May or June. So I’m waiting. And I don’t like it! I compulsively check my account on the music store website about five times a day, praying that it will tell me it has arrived. Instead I get the same word every time – processing. Processing! I know it’s coming, I know it’ll be great, I know it’ll be worth it – but the waiting is excruciating! I want it now!!! I’d even offer to go silent until it comes if I thought it would get here faster! (Ok, maybe not, but you get my point.) I suppose I should follow my own sermons and learn to sit prayerfully in the waiting – hopeful, anticipating, rejoicing in the promise of what is to come. I will try (but I’ll still keep checking the website).

    It’s exactly one week until Christmas Day. Our Advent waiting is almost over. Very soon we will be able to let loose and celebrate the revealing of the light and love of God manifested ultimately and incomparably in the birth of the Christ child. We just need to wait a little more.

    Christmas Eve Worship

    Christmas Eve – Family Service – carols, videos, fun, and a pick-up pageant for all the kids! ~ 6:30 pm
    Christmas Eve – Lessons & Carols – candles, communion, readings, and carols highlight this traditional service ~ 8:00 pm

    Songs For Sunday Night

    Here’s a way to make your Sunday Night Worship experience even better! Here’s a link to the songs we’ll be singing this week. Now you can listen to the songs before you come and enter into worship more fully! And if you can’t make it Sunday you can just click and listen for your own worship time. Sunday Nights at 7:15pm. (Bring a friend!)
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