That Awkward Waiting
Sermon, December 24, 2017 (Advent 4)
Church of the Advent, Cincinnati
-A few weeks ago, on Advent 1, Rev. Stacy preached about Kairos and Chronos, two Greek words for time that remind us that God’s time is not the same as our time. The Church’s time is not the same as society’s time. It seems to me that we’ve been feeling this particularly strongly in the last month or so.
-I’m willing to bet that for some of us here, the tree is up, and the stockings are hung. The mistletoe is out and the presents are already under the tree. All of that is well and good, after all it is December 24th, but what’s odd is that today, what you’ve just heard, is the first mention this season of a virgin named Mary, a carpenter named Joseph, and an angel with a message that would surprise us all.
-You’ll notice, that I didn’t read anything in the Gospel about a birth, or Bethlehem, or a baby, or a manger, or shepherds or kings. All that will come later. And when you come back at 4pm today, we will continue the story together. But for now, we’re still in the expectation of Advent.
-After all, this is Church of the Advent after all, and we’re going to enjoy our season until the end! But it’s not just us, the whole Episcopal Church and many others are experiencing this very same moment. In society it’s been the Christmas season for some time now, but for those of us in the church, we wait with patient expectation for what is to come, remembering the anxious stirring of an arrival but we do not know exactly when, or what, it will be.
-Take a moment with me - look at today’s Gospel and shout out a word or phrase from it that sticks out to you. Anything from the Gospel - shout it out.
-What’s it like when you have to wait for something you really want? What does it feel like? what’s so hard about it?
-This is the end of the waiting. Like kids everywhere will sit sleepless tonight, waiting, wondering, hoping, dreaming of what may await them in the morning, so all of us are at this very moment.
-The waiting is hard for all of us, no matter how young or old we may be. We want to get straight to the tree, to open the gifts, to sing our favorite Christmas songs and share a Christmas meal. But we’re not there quite yet. God tells all of us to wait just a little bit longer.
-So wait with us, friends, just a few more hours. Pray, and prepare with us for the birth of a new reality in our world. The reward is more than worth the wait.