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Life Notes—December 12, 2013 

  “He said, ‘I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord…’”

John 1:23

It was my last business trip of the year. Everything went according to schedule, until my phone rang at 5:20 on the morning I was to return home. A computerized voice said my flights had been cancelled and would I accept rebooking for the following day. I said, “No,” and was told to hold for the next available agent. An hour or so later, a nice woman made flight arrangements that would get me home on the same day, albeit 12 hours later than I had planned. The wait was worthwhile. I arrived at the airport long before my new flight was to depart and was told, “All passengers bound for Dallas, please wait in this line for the next available agent. Your flights have been cancelled.” That wait was another hour, but the agent assured me my flights had not been cancelled, only delayed a couple hours. Again, the wait was worthwhile because I would get home later that day. I got to my gate several hours before the new departure time, and waited. Several hours later, my flights were cancelled after all. I returned to the ticket counter for rebooking. Another line and another long wait, and I was booked onto the same flights I had been offered at 5:20 that morning, returning me home the next day. It was a lot of waiting for one day, with very little to show for it.

Advent is a time of waiting. Advent is a time of preparation. In truth, it is a time to prepare while we wait. Christmas does not arrive until December 25, regardless of how early we begin our preparations. On my business trip, I was not going to get home on my planned day, regardless of how long I waited or how diligently I prepared. It would happen in its time. Whether our Advent journey is worthwhile depends on what we do as we are waiting. John the Baptist, whose ministry preceded that of Jesus, proclaimed, “Prepare the way!” He preached the need to prepare ourselves for Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah, while we wait.

The season of Advent invites us to reevaluate Jesus’ place in our lives. It is a time to reflect on the areas needing a Savior’s help and guidance. Yet, holiday parties, gift buying, decorating, and other activities that leave little time for serious reflection, will consume this time of preparation and waiting. We do well to make time to reflect and prepare, while we wait. Otherwise, Advent will become a wasted opportunity to draw closer to God, and Christmas will just be another holiday.

Come home to church this Sunday. What are you waiting for this season?

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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