Message from Bishop Wallace-Padgett: Advent Waiting


Dear Friends,

Waiting is not easy for most of us. We want challenges to be resolved - now. We grow impatient when in uncertain times. We are uncomfortable with unplanned pauses.

Yet, waiting is a part of the rhythm of life. Indeed, Advent, the season of the Christian year launching today, is devoted to both past and future waiting. We remember the long centuries of waiting before the Christ Child was born. We also recognize that we continue to wait for Jesus’ second coming.

This year’s Advent season comes at a time when our nation and world are in a waiting posture.

  • We are waiting for COVID-19 vaccines to be widely distributed.
  • We are waiting for our country to eliminate racism.
  • We are waiting for our postponed General Conference to happen.
  • Then there are the many aspects of our personal lives that involve waiting.

Principles of waiting drawn from Scripture can be helpful to us in Advent 2020. Here are two that speak to me. What are some others than you identify?

  1. Waiting is a reality of life. Examples include: Abraham and Sarah’s long-awaited pregnancy (Genesis 21:2-5); the Hebrews escape from Egyptian bondage (Exodus 12:40-41); the ensuing 40 years of wandering in the wilderness (Joshua 5:6); the days between the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:3, 2:1) and the time between Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the 2nd coming (Acts 1: 6-11).
  2. Time spent waiting can be productive. Abraham and Sarah grew in faith (Genesis 12:1-21:7); the Hebrews multiplied (Exodus 1:9-12); the people of Israel matured (Joshua 4-5); the disciples prayed (Acts 1:12-14) and we live as Christ-followers (Romans 12).

I invite you to join me in pondering biblical principles of waiting during this Advent season. Better than that, let us embody them in our daily lives.

Actions:  1) Name an area of your life where you are in a waiting posture during this Advent season. 2) Reflect on an example in Scripture where someone waited in a way that honored God. 3) Apply learnings from the biblical example to your life situation.

Prayer:  God, I sometimes resist waiting. Yet, I realize that it is part of life. During this Advent season help me to remember that waiting in a way that honors you is time well-spent. All of this I pray in the name of the Christ Child. Amen.

As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.

Debra Wallace-Padgett
Resident Bishop
North Alabama Conference

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