It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The decorations in our home, at church, and all around town are constant reminders of the season and the celebration that is at hand. Of all of those decorations, christmas trees have a special position of importance. We have community gatherings to light the tree for the first time, we clear space in our living rooms to make a spot for our tree, we expect to see Christmas trees where ever there are decorations. I remember being a child and marveling at the beauty of the tree in my living room. It didn’t “feel” like Christmas until the tree was up and decorated. I see that same wonder and excitement in our boys as they take in the beauty of our tree.
As a pastor I am always looking at the world through a theological lens, exploring how our traditions and practices influence and reflect our beliefs.
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Our waiting now is waiting for glimpses of what God is doing so that we can be a part of it. If we don’t wait eagerly, we will miss it. If we rush ahead, we might miss it. It is God’s timing and God’s work, we must wait on the Lord.
I am one of the most impatient people I know. I put on a good show because I know impatience is rude and unbecoming, yet as hard as I may try I am terrible at waiting patiently.
With our church Session (the Board) we have shared over the months what helps each of us to feel connected to God. One of our elders shared that she feels most connected to God when waiting– that’s right WAITING. Prior to that I had never considered waiting to be a spiritual discipline. I had viewed it as a necessary reality, but not a gift or a blessing. Since then, I have attempted to enter into that reality- to view waiting as spiritual.
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Just year two in Montana, and I have already developed an aversion to cleaning out the gutters. I don’t know how the beautiful leaves that fall from our trees turn into that gross brown gunk that lines the gutters. It is a tedious and time consuming task- moving the ladder in three feet increments, trying to hold a bucket and slop the gunk from the gutter into the bucket without getting myself covered, and moving around the entire perimeter of the house. Coming from Arizona, this chore wasn’t as essential. We have quickly learned hear in Montana that if you don’t stay on top of cleaning your gutters, you soon have a much bigger mess and problem on your hands. The water is unable to drain, it seeps into your eaves and can damage your home. Luckily, we have great friends here in town that were quick to remind us of the chore and ensured that we realized the importance of it.
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