Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 16, 2014 - Along the Way ...

As we continue this Advent journey, today has me thinking about time.  Time is something we all experience, but most of us struggle to understand.  

First of all, we know that time is God's creation.   He invented time, and therefore He stands outside of time.  This is how the Bible is able to say in 2 Peter 3:8-9 ...

"Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."  

Time is not as significant to God, as it is to us.  Yet there is always purpose to time.  We wait because God is patient, not wanting anyone to perish.  We wait, and we are called to be patient too, as we have been given the Holy Spirit who develops our patience like a fruit on a living vine.

But how does the Holy Spirit develop our patience?   

I have often said, "Patience is a virtue, but that does not make it easy."   It is hard to wait, yet we are called to wait, and during Advent we acutely feel the weight of our waiting.   So how does the Holy Spirit help us develop the fruit of patience?

Spiritual disciplines are the tools the Holy Spirit uses to develop His fruit in us.  And the Spiritual discipline we use together to develop patience is the church calendar.   

It was the same for God's people before Christ.   They had annual feast days and festivals, which helped them to remember the past as they lived in the present and looked forward to the future.  
Our church calendar functions for us today in much the same way.  

The church calendar begins with Advent, follows into Christmas, Epiphany (celebration of Jesus as the light of the world), Lent, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost.  Each year we relive these moments in Jesus' life, remembering, finding strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow.   

Ultimately, we know that as we learn to wait, that God will one day bring an end to our waiting, and Jesus will return in power and glory!  He will come to judge the living and the dead, and to make all things new!   Our waiting will not be in vain, for those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength, as the prophet Isaiah says.   Those who wait on the Lord will never be disappointed.

I invite you to share your own thoughts about waiting and the ways the Holy Spirit develops our patience, as we journey together along the Way ... 

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