Advent Hope for Wednesday

Advent is important in the story of the Christian faith. You can read more about it here.

Advent draws us into the discipline of waiting. We remember that we are not the end-all be-all. We recognize that we have far less control than we think. We remember that God is at work and keeps his promises, because the Advent of the Christ happened just as God promised. It only took hundreds of years. God’s people had to wait.

Then, God arrived. It happened in a most surprising way and unexpected time. It’s how God works. He surprises us. He doesn’t work according to our expectations. He’s not nearly as committed to our agenda as we are, even when it’s good or holy. He may, as he proved in the Advent of the Christ, have a better way.

Advent is a season of waiting, a purposeful time of learning how to wait. We wait for God to move. We wait for God to lead. We wait for God to provide. We resist the urge to take it into our own hands, whatever “it” is, and hold on to the promise of God to reveal God’s faithful love in a tangible way. We open our eye and ears to look and listen for the light of God breaking through our impatience, desperation, or inner longings. And we remember that hope, peace, joy and love are possible, even in the waiting.

I have found this season to be the most meaningful when I set rhythms to remember Advent each day. I find resources like blogs, prayers, and poems. I make a diverse music playlist for WCC mixed with genres I both enjoy and don’t enjoy so I can learn to find the beauty in both. I reach for Advent devotionals and poetry so I can learn to sit and receive a word. Find what works for you, but whatever you do, do it with intentionality.

Reach out to me if I can help you with any resources. I will gladly share.

~ Fred

PRAYER

The following prayer is from a prayerbook I visit often called, 2000 Years of Prayer, compiled by Michael Counsell. The prayer is entitled, An African Schoolgirl’s Prayer. See its simplicity and beauty. Receive it. Then, offer it to God and be still. Listen to any stirring that awakens within you. If you have questions, ask God. God knows what you should do. But remember, sometimes all God asks is that we sit with the stirring—to wait—and keep our attention on the Spirit’s presence as we walk on.

“O great Chief, light a candle in my heart, that I may see what is in it, and sweep the rubbish from your dwelling place. Amen.”

~ An African Schoolgirl’s Prayer

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.
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