Wrapping Up Our Week of Watching and Waiting


Time to take a breath! My saintly husband Sam told me he was glad to wrap up the Advent week of watching so he can watch today’s college football games!

One of my pastoral tasks was praying. If I wasn’t preaching, my primary responsibility during the worship service was the pastoral prayer. When out visiting parishioners where they lived and worked, I was often asked if I would “offer up a prayer.” I never left a hospital room without asking the person or family I was visiting if they would like to pray. Even if they are uncomfortable with the idea of praying, people do expect it of clergy (even if they secretly hope you’ll forget)!

My practice was to begin with, “Let us pray…” And then silence. Thirty seconds or so of silence … uncomfortable silence. I always knew how uncomfortable people were by their fidgeting or clearing of throats. As people got used to my practice, I would begin with “Let us pray,” they would take a deep breath, and settle into the silence. More than any words I could offer, that silence and waiting was the prayer.

My natural response was to tune into the silence and listen for all that was happening. That is exactly what Advent is all about.

Why not make it your Advent practice to tune into the silence and listen. It only take a minute. Be still, close your eyes and notice your breath. Take a deep breath, then exhale. About six or seven deep breaths and exhales is one minute. You can do this anytime throughout your day. Silence. Watch. Wait. Amen.

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