By Bob Yoder, campus pastor
This week’s theme: Yes! Let it be!
Welcome to Goshen College’s online devotionals for the 2017 Advent season! Our theme this year, taken from Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada worship resources found in Leader magazine, is “Yes! Let it be!” Every Monday an author will introduce the week’s sub-theme and the following days writers will reflect on a specific scripture passage. The theme for this week, Advent 1, is the same as the overall theme – “Yes! Let it be!”
Advent is a time of waiting and preparing for Christ’s coming. The Gospels include stories of those who waited for Jesus – Elizabeth and Zechariah, Mary and Joseph, Anna and Simeon, and the magi. Their journeys of waiting were different, but all guided to the light of Christ by angels, dreams, the Hebrew Scriptures or a star. They were exposed to their vulnerabilities, yet remained open to God’s words, including Mary who responded, “Let it be to me according to your word.”
I remember painfully waiting to know what all might be wrong with our unborn son’s heart. Prior to this drive to Indianapolis where my wife would have a fetal echocardiogram, our mood ten days before was one of happy anticipation. We were excited to see him in our first ultrasound and planned to buy paint for the nursery afterward. However, this visit revealed some abnormalities with the heart’s structure; we were then sent to another specialist for a better scan. That too showed signs that eventually led us to Indy.
How could this be? We struggled to conceive; the monthly cycle of waiting and disappointment got old. And once we did conceive it heightened our joyous anticipation of that first ultrasound. But, we did not expect the necessary drive to Indy. That was not in our plans.
Those tests revealed the complications were not as severe as initially feared. But, Josiah was born with a hole in his heart that needed repair when he was a toddler. Now, twelve years after that initial drive to Indy he is a fairly healthy boy, though we continue with regular check-ups.
Looking back, we did not have just “one wait,” but a “series of waitings.” One period led into another phase which carried into another. And now we continue to wait as he grows older. Who will he become? What kind of character traits will he express? What activities will pique his interests and curiosities? We continue to wait and see for him and our daughter, Mira.
Along our journey of waiting, there had been those moments where we needed to embrace the “what will be’s”…whether we liked it or not.
Waiting prepares us. Waiting confronts our “microwave-speed” lifestyle. Waiting draws us back to dependence on God as we live into whatever will be.
God who journeys with us in our waiting, continue to comfort and guide in whatever comes our way.