Good Morning Church! Thinking of and praying for each of you on this first Sunday in Advent. Advent is a word that means 'coming', and in refers to the four weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas. It is a time of active waiting - much like the active waiting of Children look at presents under a tree eagerly waiting Christmas day when they're able to open and receive them. I bless you to remember the advent of Jesus in the incarnation, to thank him for the ways he has come in your life, and to lift up your prayers from the place of waiting today.
In Luke 1 we have this account of the angels announcement to the virgin Mary:
"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus." Luke 1.30-31
As I prayerfully pondered this familiar story today I was struck by the simple yet awe inspiring response of Mary... she believes! What had been promised was firmly in the category of impossible, but Mary shows us what it looks like to put our faith in God as her belief turns to active waiting.
Elizabeth captures the wonder of Mary's faith saying:
"Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." Luke 1.45
Mary's faith... her believing into... her 'committed trustful reliance' is truly awe inspiring. At the same time it is meant to be inspiring. This week, I encourage you to meditate on the promises of God. Advent is to be marked by an active waiting that flows from the place of faith. I pray that God would conceive hope in the places of our deepest longings this Advent, and that together we would lift up our Magnificat (Lk 1.46-55) in the place of his promise to us.