December 2023

Friends in Christ,

You might not recognize this about your pastor, but I’m not always the most patient person. This is especially true about me when the thing that I am waiting for is important or stressful. Waiting creates a kind of anxiety ni me that I would much rather do without. It’s a feeling that I don’t like. The uncertainty that comes with waiting can, at times, make my stomach churn.

As I wait, I always tend to catastrophize, and I never fail to worry about things that may or may not matter. Questions race through my mind and I tend to make up all sorts of stories about what could be going wrong. I spend lots of time dwelling on questions like, “Why is this taking so long? What will happen if this doesn’t go as planned? Will my plans have to change? If this all falls apart, then what?”

Waiting is not a fun experience for me. I’d rather things be efficient and get done as soon as possible. I’d like for everything to be known and predictable right up front. There’s much more security and less risk in that. However, that’s rarely how life works. Isn’t it?

Therefore, I always must remind myself during this time of year that the Advent season is not a time of “waiting” that mirrors what I experience in my everyday life. In Advent, we are not waiting in a state of fear or anxiety, always wondering when the next shoe will drop. Rather, we are waiting in expectation. We are waiting in a state of hope and joy. This is a period of “holy waiting” that totally reinvents what waiting means. We are awaiting the celebration of the arrival of the Christ child, of the one who has come to bless the world, and of the one who is true love incarnate. This is a special season and a special time of waiting!

Over the next few weeks and as we venture into this season, I hope that you will join me and our church family for worship here at St. Paul. We have a whole host of activities and worship services planned that will help each of us as we wait in expectation to celebrate Christ’s birth. Please check out the church calendar, your weekly bulletin, and our Facebook page for more information on service types and time.

I look forward to celebrating this season with you and your families as we all practice some “holy waiting!”

God’s peace be with you,
Pastor Heath