Those who wait
for you know
how the mark of
a true blessing
is that it will take you
where you did not
think to go.
Once through this door
there will be more:
more who watch and
wait for you
at this door of
the blessings cannot
be said without you.
~excerpt from Blessing the Door, Jan Richardson (janrichardson.com)
As Christians around the world lean into the Season of Waiting we prepare ourselves to see things we have chosen to ignore, to listen for the sounds of holiness all around us and to open ourselves to the mysteries of Advent.
Waiting involves courage, patience, and perseverance. We pray for an abundance of these qualities for those who are waiting for answers that may be difficult to hear:
- For the people on the island of Ischia, near Naples, Italy, where several people are feared to have died after a mudslide was triggered by heavy rains. The missing people are believed to be trapped under the mud.
- For the people of Afghanistan responding to the public flogging of three women and eleven men on 11.23.22 on the orders of a Taliban court. There is rage, fear, and uncertainty for what is to come.
- For those mourning the violent death of Cassius Turvey, a teen-aged Aboriginal youth, beaten to death in his beloved country of Australia. The crime has been determined to be racially motivated.
The waiting is hard, Most Holy One, and there are times when we want to give up. Grant us strength, all of us, as we wait for answers unknown, for answers that will change our lives, for answers that will bring us closer to you.
Waiting relies on trust, hope, and faith. We pray that the God who delights in all of us, even when we are feeling small and insignificant, will infuse us with this potent goodness. We are buoyed when we hear:
- At a global summit in Panama the white-rumped shama and straw-headed bulbul were added to a list of species whose trade is restricted to prevent them from being traded to extinction. Both birds from Southeast Asia, have been devastated by the song bird trade, where birds are captured for their singing ability and used in hugely popular bird-singing competitions.
- The Rev. Nathan Empsall, executive director of Faithful America, USA said Donald Trump has repeatedly “weaponized” religion in his past two previous campaigns. The morning after Trump’s latest announcement regarding running for president, Faithful America launched a petition against Trump’s candidacy that has since amassed more than 14,000 signatures.
- The World Council of Churches (WCC) gathered in the fall of 2022 in Karlsruhe, Germany, for ten days of spiritual, cultural, and personal enlightenment. The most critical topics included racism, the rights of indigenous people, and climate change.
- In the United Nations climate summit, held in Sharmel-Sheikh, Egypt, the summit clergy had what was called the world’s first multi-faith Climate Repentance ceremony to “seek forgiveness for climate sins.”
We grieve for the injustice that seems to permeate the air. We ask that you, Lover of all, help us to recognize the myriad steps that are taken in the name of freedom, of peace, of love.
When we allow ourselves to embrace this Season of Waiting, the benefits are immeasurable and immense:
- We begin to surrender our control and open ourselves to Spirit.
- A quiet inner strength is nurtured as we relinquish what doesn’t nourish us.
- We are formed by inviting peace into our being even during times of strife and uncertainty.
Creator, Savior, Spirit, we wait to catch a glimpse of your light. We wait to hear the news we are anxious to receive. We wait expectantly, as Mary did, and so many women after her. We wait…..as you continue to change our lives. May we feel your presence as you wait with us. Amen.