Pause

God has given each of us seasons of waiting and days of anticipation.

Despite the incessant rush of our lives and the world around us, there are still moments when things come to a halt, when all that we can do is done and we must wait. God invites us to wait faithfully, anticipating joyfully what is to come.

Take a moment now to wait faithfully with God.

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Listen

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.”

Isaiah 35:1-4

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Think

Have you ever seen a time-lapse video of the desert blooming? The ground is dry and cracked, nothing green at all. The place looks dead. Hidden among all the dust and dirt are seeds looking for their moment. The rains fall; the earth drinks. Green shoots shove their way out, reaching for the sun. Leaves unfurl, greening the parched landscape. Flowers burst forth — crimson and orange, saffron and indigo — a living fireworks display sending bright sparks across the landscape.

In Advent, we are reminded of the desert, the ways in which our world falls short of the beauty and fullness of life for which it was created. Like hidden seeds, we long for the rains. We wait in eager anticipation for that moment when God will water the earth, and as in Isaiah’s vision, "The wilderness and dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom...."

Phillip Fackler

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Pray

Nurturing God, I see the world filled with joy and sadness, with fear and hope. Help me to live as your rain, nourishing each shoot of joy and hope so that my waiting may be a sign of the abundant life that you are nurturing in each one of us. Amen.

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Go

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith for ever.

Psalm 146:5-6

Phillip Fackler

Phillip Fackler is a PhD candidate in the religious studies department at the University of Pennsylvania and a priest in the Episcopal Church. He enjoys reading dead languages and attempting to solve all the world’s problems through conversations over dinner.

Picardy / Greensleeves

Jim Morgan

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