Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Thursday, December 8

By Caroline Lamar

The Discomfort of Waiting

Read: Isaiah 35:1-10

A few months ago, a guest from the Soup Kitchen attended the 8:30 a.m. worship service. When it came time for Holy Communion, she remained seated in her pew. The ushers indicated it was her row’s turn, but she remained seated. “What is she waiting for?” I thought to myself. “It’s clearly her turn.” I watched as she waited until every member of the congregation had been served, even the ushers, before quietly approaching the pastor. She extended her open palms, was greeted by name, and received Holy Communion before returning to her pew.

On my way home I reflected on the woman and attempted to puzzle out why her waiting made me uneasy. In a culture of instant gratification, any kind of waiting makes us uncomfortable. We receive text, emails, sports scores, and our favorite streaming shows instantly. We know what we want, and we want it now. The discomfort of waiting annoys us. And yet, I would venture to guess the woman waiting to be served at the Lord’s Table was quite adept at waiting. Waiting for her next meal. Waiting for a safe place to sleep. Waiting to be noticed and truly seen.

This is what we are called to do during Advent. We are called to sit and wait. To sit with the discomfort of the darkness and the quiet. We are called to still our busyness and simply wait. For it is in our waiting that we can more fully prepare our hearts for the coming of Christmas.


Loving God, meet us in our stillness. Help us wait with open hearts so that we, like the crocus, will burst into bloom and shout for joy. Amen.

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