‘Are we there yet?’

By Rev. George R. Martzen, Sage Granada Park UMC

Have you heard that question on your holiday trips? Waiting is never easy for children. The same goes for adults. Every day we wait for something. We wait in traffic. We wait for a reply to e-mails. We wait for the children to call home. We wait for the doctor and that critical medical report. We wait, uncertain, in political transitions.

Why do we have to wait? According to ancient wisdom, patience is a virtue. Patience is a reminder that we are bound by the forces of time. Don’t we prefer to be around people who have learned to be creative and resourceful within the limits of time?

Advent is a season that teaches us to wait and grow into the virtue of patience. In most Protestant and Catholic churches, Advent defines the four Sundays before Christmas. Dec. 25 falls on a Sunday this year, so the first Sunday of Advent was Nov. 27.

The word “Advent” comes from a Latin expression that means “to come.” Advent emphasizes the expectation of a time when God’s peace and justice will rule the world. The tone of Advent is one of longing in the midst of suffering, as related in the popular hymn: “O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here.”

Advent begins by recognizing that God’s loving rule has not yet been fulfilled. Rather than beating “swords into plowshares,” our priorities often go to building implements of defense, while homelessness crouches at our doorsteps and violent crime continues on our streets.

We wait in part for Christmas day. It is the joyful celebration of Jesus’ birth, when the angels sang “Glory to God” and “Peace on earth.” Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection demonstrated God’s loving intentions. He planted the seeds of God’s kingdom. And one day, as we pray, God’s reign will be fulfilled on earth as it is in heaven.  

We also wait and work patiently for that future day, not knowing when and how. We are called in our daily lives to “seek first God’s kingdom” and to bear witness to signs of God’s love bearing fruit in the world.  

Sage Granada Park United Methodist Church is one sign of God’s loving reign. It is a multi-cultural, inclusive community, united across diversity to show forth the love of God in Jesus Christ. If you are looking for a spiritual home, a place where you can seek God’s loving reign, then you are welcome at Sage Granada Park. We worship at 9:30 a.m. Sundays with programs for children and youth.


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Jan 2022


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