Stories of Renewal: Opening New Doors
In the beginning of 2017, the Saint Paul Area Synod distributed 11 micro-grants to congregations wishing [...]
by Vernita Kennen
Did Advent seem to begin early this year? When the fourth Thursday in November comes later in the month, it seems that Advent creeps up on us and we are not quite ready. This year our family/friends Thanksgiving celebration was on Saturday, November 29 which meant having turkeys, pumpkins and leaves out for decorations one day and searching for the Advent wreath the next. We began the season in haste.
And yet, the Advent season begs for waiting. We need the time and space for quiet contemplation of the coming of Jesus as a babe in Bethlehem and yet again in the final days. We are impatient people and waiting is not something we do well. (See excellent articles on Advent waiting in the December issue of The Lutheran.)
I have been thinking recently about people who wait. I have been thinking especially about those who are waiting in refugee situations, people who are fleeing for their lives in war torn areas (Syria, Iraq, Sudan), people fleeing the Ebola virus within countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone, people who are fleeing drought conditions where they are no longer able to water their herds or their crops, and people who are forced to flee criminals of all kinds who put their lives in danger. I also thought about people who wait in long lines to cast their ballots in elections when our midterm turnout was less than usual even here in Minnesota.
Many people around the world wait in long lines for food, for shelter, for a place to lay their heads. They should serve to remind us of that couple traveling to Bethlehem and also seeking food, shelter, and a place to lay their heads. They should also remind us of our call to walk - and wait - with those in need in God’s world today. May we do so with open eyes, and open hearts.