Hello and December Greetings to all!
For those of us in the northern hemisphere the coming of the colder weather and winter and the beginning of the season of Advent in the church seem to coincide perfectly. As the colder weather comes it seems like all living creatures, animals and plants alike, go into a time of waiting or hibernation. For plants, waiting for the warmer weather, the longer days of sun, waiting to spring back to life again with all it’s beautiful greens leaves and splashes of colorful flower petals. For animals this is often when they hibernate or prepare to give birth so that come Spring, new life, new babies will come out to greet the world when the waiting is done.
As we move into the season of Advent in the Christian church, we are reminded of our call to wait and keep watch for Christ. That we too are in a time of waiting, preparing, and hoping for the time when our new life in Christ Jesus will come to fulfillment and fruition with the 2nd coming of Jesus.
I was reading an advent devotional book recently and the author compared the planting of spring flowers to Advent. The traditional spring flowers of tulips, daffodils, and crocuses are planted in the cooler fall season right before winter and then there are months of waiting to see them finally bloom in spring. The author began to see her planting bulbs in the late fall as an advent practice, a time when she waited and hoped that all her work would bloom in the spring. It was an act of faith.
I like this imagery of planting spring flowers as an example our season of advent. We too are metaphorically planting flowers with our Christian life. We have been called to join God as co-workers, to faithfully plant words of grace and truth, to plant actions of love, mercy, and justice. We have been called to continually plant in hopeful waiting, knowing that the one who promised is faithful. Knowing that even though it may not seem like anything is happening sometimes, that God is still moving, still present and providing growth and nourishment and that someday all creation and the children of God will burst forth, like spring flowers, in praise and worship of our Savior when Christ comes again.
I pray we all continue this Advent practice of Christian gardening. May we continue our planting of love, peace, grace, forgiveness, justice, mercy, and joy as we faithfully and with an abundance of hope wait in expectation for all that God has done, is doing, and will do to redeem and reconcile the whole world to God. Blessings this Advent Season!
Waiting in Hope,