How Are You Waiting? :: Hope of Advent

*Advent is a wonderful time for new readers to join us. At this time of year we are covering familiar biblical content and people are open to spiritual pursuits. Also at this time, people desperately need the balance of spiritual practice that The Park Forum provides. In this season, consider sharing our devotionals with others and inviting them to join our community. Share a link to this devotional, or this subscription link, or use the sharing links included in the sidebar to help them join us.

Scripture Focus: 1 John 5.1-3
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.

Reflection: How Are You Waiting? :: Hope of Advent
By John Tillman

Especially during the holidays, we are familiar with the feelings of awaiting the arrival of loved ones. The way we wait often varies. On my mother’s side of the family, my Granny and family waited in a celebratory way.

When we were expected at my granny’s home, in the deep country of northern Mississippi, the sound of our tires on the gravel road would announce our coming perhaps a mile before we got there. At times, we rolled up to the house with our relatives’ dogs baying and running along beside us and cousins riding bikes in our wake of dust. We would barely have the car parked before a joyful command from my Granny’s throat would be shouted out the screen door to us, “Get in this house!” It was both an unmistakable command, shouted in the same voice that might say “don’t touch that stove,” and a celebratory description of what was about to happen. We would rush up to cross her threshold and be embraced tightly and enthusiastically. I can best describe it as “lovingly-aggressive anticipation.”

When I go to my parents’ home today, unless I drop by unannounced, the experience is similar. The drapes are open so they can see when we drive up. The door is unlocked and we just walk in. I am usually met at the door with a hug of greeting, or sometimes a shout from the kitchen, “Come on in!” or “Get in here!” Our arrival is not simply expected, but prepared for and anticipated with longing. We are not simply welcomed, but celebrated. This is how the Church waits in the time of Advent. 

Advent is a time in which we leave the front door unlocked for we know the time of Christ’s coming. It is a time in which, we open the front drapes to see down the driveway, we listen for the engine in the distance, the thunderous roll of tires on gravel roads. 

When we do the joyful work of anticipation and preparation for Christ’s Advent, we may find that it is actually we who are coming home. We are reflecting the anticipation of the Father. And it is actually the voice of Christ who will one day shout with lovingly-aggressive anticipation, “Get in this house!” as we cross the threshold of Heaven.

May we prepare and anticipate the coming of Christ.
May we say to him, “get in this house,” inviting him into our churches, our communities, our homes, and our hearts.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
Hosanna, Lord, hosanna!…Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord. — Psalm 118.25-26

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
2 Chronicles 6:12-42 (Listen -7:17) 
1 John 5 (Listen -3:00)

This Weekend’s Readings
2 Chronicles 7 (Listen -4:07), 2 John (Listen -1:50)
2 Chronicles 7 (Listen -3:02), 3 John (Listen -1:51)

Thank You, Donors!
Thanks to our donors, in 2019 we will publish approximately 100,000 words of free, and ad-free, devotional content. Without donor support, continuing this ministry would be impossible. As the end of the year approaches, consider whether the Holy Spirit might be prompting you to help support our 2020 content with an end-of-year gift or by becoming a monthly donor. Follow this link to our giving page.

Read more from A Prayer of Hope :: Hope of Advent
During Advent we trim our lamps and supply ourselves with oil that we may be ready when Christ comes.

Read more about End of Year Giving
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Who Are You Waiting For? :: Hope of Advent

*Advent is a wonderful time for new readers to join us. At this time of year we are covering familiar biblical content and people are open to spiritual pursuits. Also at this time, people desperately need the balance of spiritual practice that The Park Forum provides. In this season, consider sharing our devotionals with others and inviting them to join our community. Share a link to this devotional, or this subscription link, or use the sharing links included in the sidebar to help them join us.

Scripture Focus: 1 John 4.16-17, 20
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus…Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

Reflection: Who Are You Waiting For?
By John Tillman

Back in the days when one could go to the gate and meet friends as they came off of the plane, I was a part of a group that played a joke on a friend of ours returning on a flight. We gathered with a simple sign to hold as we awaited our friend and arrived at the gate early enough that we were the first ones waiting.

Then, as now, people coming off of a plane didn’t normally hesitate—they would hustle off to baggage claim or the exits. But on that day as people began to stream off of the plane, they saw our sign. A few simply chuckled and moved on, but some, due to curiosity, seemed to find all manner of reasons to stand around the gate chatting. They were interested to see who was getting off of the plane.

The crowd grew as our friend was one of the last people to exit the plane. As the tension mounted, we almost abandoned our plan. But when our friend finally appeared, we cheered loudly and we proudly held our sign up: “Congratulations! Not Guilty!”

I don’t know if any of those who witnessed our prank realized it was a joke. They may have been curious about whether they would recognize the face getting off the plane from the news. But I do know they were interested in who was coming because of how we were waiting.

Are people interested in the Christ you are waiting for? Maybe that has to do with how you are waiting? A child waiting for a parent to come home and administer a punishment behaves differently than one waiting for a parent to come home and ease a broken heart. A child waiting for a parent to bring home test results behaves differently than one waiting for a parent to bring home a present.

What you do while you wait, tells people who you are waiting for and what you think about them. What do people see when they see us waiting for Christ? What does that make them assume about Christ’s identity?

What, or who, are you waiting for?

May we wait for Christ expectantly, with energetic hope.
May we prepare the way for Christ by doing what we would expect him to do on behalf of others. 
May we prepare the way for Christ by being the kind of servant that Christ lived as when he was among us.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in him. — Psalm 62.6

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
2 Chronicles 5=6:11 (Listen -9:57) 
1 John 4 (Listen -2:58)

Thank You, Donors!
Thanks to our donors, in 2019 we will publish approximately 100,000 words of free, and ad-free, devotional content. Without donor support, continuing this ministry would be impossible. As the end of the year approaches, consider whether the Holy Spirit might be prompting you to help support our 2020 content with an end-of-year gift or by becoming a monthly donor. Follow this link to our giving page.

Read more about Abandoning Sinful Hopes :: Hope of Advent
Christ’s Advent will be revealing in our lives. Too often what we hope for condemns us…Let go of the sinful things you hope for. Give them up to him

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