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.next >
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, 'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
Matthew 11:7-11next >
In college, I went to a concert to see one of my favorite bands. The band put on a great show, everything I had hoped to see. As great as they were, a local band I had never heard of stole the show. These nobodies brought the house down with their passionate performance. I went to see a chart-topper, but it was an unknown local band that showed me how amazing a live show could actually be.
Jesus tells us that the kingdom of heaven can sneak up on you; it can make important stuff pale in comparison to even the tiniest glimpse of the kingdom. As we move through Advent, we are invited to leave space to be surprised. We may head to Christmas expecting carols, presents, and delicious food, but Jesus reminds us that even these joys are in anticipation of something amazing breaking in all around.
Phillip Facklernext >
Surprising God, open my eyes and heart to receive you in unexpected ways. Help me to leave space in my life to be surprised by the ways in which your kingdom is present all around me. Amen.next >
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.
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