Advent Devotional: Sunday, Dec. 2

Theme: Hurry Up and Wait

Written by Rev. Ara Guekguezian, Community United Church of Christ

Jeremiah 33: 14-16

The days are surely coming…

Remember when…Nine years old, the Sears, Toys R Us, or Target Christmas catalog would arrive in the mail. I would snatch it immediately from the pile of mail that starts arriving mid-November. I would race up the stairs to my bedroom and start dreaming. What should I hope for in the way of gifts for Christmas? Inspired by the offerings in the catalogue, I would create a wish list. I would pray, then write it down and leave it on my dresser. The secondary hope was that my mom would find it and share it with my dad. And the waiting would commence. The Christmas season would be described in one phrase: Hurry Up and Wait.

Then if things went well (according to God’s will), when my bachelor uncle and my bachelor eldest cousin would ask one of my parents about my hopes for Christmas, they would respond with one of the items on my brief but bold wish list. Unfortunately, my parents had a different understanding of God’s will for my life, for I would receive great books and warm clothes on Christmas morn. Thanks be to God that my cousin was closer to God, for on Christmas afternoon we would go to his mother’s home for Christmas dinner and I would receive this final gift for Christmas: Hot Wheels!

God’s people in Judah at the close of the seventh and beginning of the sixth century, BCE, were very aware of their weakness relative to the increasing power and scope of the Babylonian empire. Their political leadership by the king was flawed, as deals were made with Egypt and unfulfilled. The near future looked grim, not hopeful. Into this place and among these people comes the word of God through the prophet Jeremiah.

The day is surely coming, when a righteous leader will rise up, leading with justice and righteousness. Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. Jeremiah offers a word and deed (literally) of hope in a hopeless and worsening situation. But the word was to hurry up and live righteous lives even during the most difficult moment, waiting hopefully and patiently, for the word of God to be fulfilled.

Prayer: We await patiently for the culmination of our great season of Advent. Even in our present circumstance, O God, we remain hopeful, for we have seen and heard of the advent of our God in the flesh. We endeavor to live faithfully as we wait the fulfillment of the Word that is Jesus. Amen.