Advent is both a wonderful and a challenging time of the church year. We begin a new year while the world is busy finishing an old one. While society urges us to hurry and spend, scripture beckons us to slow down and wait.
Think of the image of an empty cradle. We lay strips of cloth over the hardwood to make a place for the babe whom we anxiously await. The pieces of fabric are the hopes and dreams we have, both for the child and for ourselves.
What do you hope for this Advent season: a restoration of health; a healing of a relationship, a reunion of family; forgiveness for a wrong; food for the hungry; peace for the world?
We fill the cradle with our hopes. We wait.
And suddenly, surprise!
When we slow down and wait, we discover the hopes we once thought to be long off dreams appear in our midst in the most surprising of ways and the most unexpected of places.
Pastor Mark H. Larson