— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —
We have all have the experience of waiting and the feelings that come with it. What do you think of when you hear the word “waiting”? What memories come to you and are you like the most of us that hate waiting. Often Advent is a time of waiting in Lines/Queues in shops, at the post office, in airports, train stations or even for a mug of Glühwein at the Christmas Market. In these lines we have anticipations and expectations that make the waiting easier. At the post office we might be picking up a package that has journeyed a long way, at the shops we can pay for and then take home a gift that will brighten a loved one’s life, at the airport and train station we know we will be reaching a destination where we will soon see those we have missed and at the Christmas Market a mug of Glühwein can signal that the Christmas season is here.
Another word for anticipation or expectation is hope. We began the season with the lightening of the first candle of the Advent wreath which is known as the candle of hope. Over 2000 years ago the people of Israel were waiting for the arrival of a Messiah that would deliver them from oppression. The writings of the prophets and especially Isaiah were full of promises that God would send a saviour to Israel.
The birth of Jesus was the end of waiting, what was hoped for had arrived.
The second Hope of Advent is the coming of Jesus again. Jesus has an endgame for the world we live in and even though I have a weak understanding of what that is, I know it will be good.
Waiting is not always a negative thing. For example there can be deep joy preparing for the birth of a child and the necessary preparations needed for the arrival. Can you imagine finding out one day you are pregnant and the next day the baby arrived. Christmas does not occur without Advent, which is a season of preparation. There is so much to do before Christmas day is upon us. Each family has different traditions which can include sending greeting cards, baking cookies, shopping, washing windows, visiting christmas markets, work parties, school parties, Christmas pageants and many more tasks. These tasks are all good and important but this Christmas let us also prepare our hearts with hope, expectation and anticipation what the birth of Christ can mean in our lives.
Spend time not only listening to Christmas carols but take time and seek out songs of Advent. Start the season with O Come, O come Emmanuel instead of Joy to the World. A simple google search will give you a list of advent songs to accompany you. Also read a advent devotional or partake in the Anglican Church’s campaign Follow the Star – The Great Invitation. The daily reflections are available as a free app and email newsletter. Click here to find out more.
The ACF Midweek Meditations
are written by a diverse group of our church members with the intention to seek God’s fingerprints in our lives. They range from somber to humorous and are inspired by all facets of live and faith. Written by ordinary people from all walks of life, they reflect a wide range of Christian backgrounds and spiritualities.
Each week’s text portrays the individual viewpoint of its author. They might not always resonate with everyone, and are not meant to be understood as representing the Anglican Church Freiburg as a whole. Yet, as a church that is aiming to ‘Build a Community of Grace’ we seek to practice learning from and listening to one another.
We pray that these humble ponderings add a small spark of blessing to your week.