Advent Hope for Tuesday

As we wait on the Lord in hope, we need the Holy Spirit to produce from within us patience (see Galatians 5:22-23). Pastor and author, the late Henri Nouwen once said,

“A waiting person is a patient person. The word ‘patience’ means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Waiting, then, is not passive. It involves nurturing the moment, as a mother nurtures the child that is growing in her womb.

Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Simeon, and Anna were present to the moment. That is why they could hear the angel. The were alert, attentive to the voice that spoke to them and said, ‘Do not be afraid. Something is happening to you. Pay attention.’…

Much of our waiting is filled with wishes…We want the future to go in a very specific direction, and if this does not happen we are disappointed and can even slip into despair. That is why we have such a hard time waiting; we want to do the things that will make the desired events take place. Here we can see how wishes tend to be connected with fears.

But Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Simeon, and Anna were not filled with wishes. They were filled with hope. Hope is something very different. Hope is trusting that something will be fulfilled according to the promises and not just according to our wishes.”

~ Henri Nouwen, from The Path of Waiting.

PRAYER

The following is an excerpt from a prayer I find fitting for the above mediation. It is a prayer written by Howard Thurman in 1951 entitled, O God, I Need Thee. I invite you to pray this section and sit in silence. Allow God’s Spirit to guide your thoughts and words. After a little while, close this conversation with God and move on in His presence with the rest of your day.

Lord, I need your sense of time.
Always I have an underlying anxiety about things.
Sometimes I am in a hurry to achieve my ends
And am completely without patience. It is hard for me
To realize that some growth is slow,
That all processes are not swift. I cannot always discriminate
Between what takes time to develop and what can be rushed,
Because my sense of time is dulled.
I measure things in terms of happenings.
O to understand the meaning of perspective
That I may do all things with a profound sense of leisure–of time.

~ from Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, p. 183.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Advent Hope for Tuesday

  1. bishopdfaith says:

    Thanks for sharing; This is very good! I thought of including this on tomorrow’s Prayer/ devotion at 8am but don’t want to repeat it as I was unsure if our Wednesday regulars receive your post. Thoughts? I will print out to share with those I visit. Dave

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

Join the conversation, but please be gracious.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s