Fire, Faith, Fruit: Advent is a time of anticipation
Isaiah 40:1-11, 2 Peter 3:8-15a, Mark 1:1-8
BY BARBARA JESSUP
Anticipation. That's the theme of the lections for Advent.
I know a little bit about anticipation. As a part of the Air Force Chaplain Service Inspection Team, I had the opportunity to visit Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. I was invited by an Air Force Reserve chaplain to accompany him on his "rounds." If you can believe this, his church paid him to be a chaplain on the Strip in Vegas. So he went backstage in all the theaters and casinos and ministered to the people who worked there "“ including the stars who performed there. (It's an overwhelming job.)
As we walked down the Strip, I noticed a marquis advertising the Mac Davis Show that evening. Mac Davis has been my idol forever. After the chaplain talked to the security guard, he guided us up to seats in the light booth above the stage to watch the show.
Now, I know every one of Mac's songs by heart. He said profound things in his songs like, "Baby, Baby, don't get hooked on me," and, "I love big dumb dogs, fireplaces and crackling logs, and I love you, too." I mean, Mac is a serious songwriter!
After the show, the guard asked me if I wanted to meet Mac Davis. Oh my gosh. He took us down to the hallway outside Mac's dressing room and told us to wait there.
Talk about anticipation: my eyes were glued to the dressing room door. It was ridiculous, really. Here I was a grown woman, but I knew without a doubt that when Mac walked out that door I would faint dead away. My heart was pounding, my palms were sweating and I could hardly breathe. It was exquisite. I thought I was going to literally burst with excitement and joy.
Now, if we can get that excited about the appearing of a singing star, how much more should we feel the excitement in this Advent Season, as we anticipate the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ?
We're waiting, watching in anticipation because at some point, the Scripture tells us, the day of the Lord will come. We wait with great anticipation for the new heaven and the new earth, and the completion of our salvation. Hallelujah!
Well, I guess you're all wondering what happened when I saw Mac. Nothing did.
I was singing Mac's songs while I was waiting to meet him and he so let me down. See, Mac was a little busy that evening. He was in a hurry and had to catch a plane and didn't have time for his number one fan. I was so let down.
People in your life will do that to you. But Jesus won't. We sing the Lord's songs while we wait to see him face to face, and he won't disappoint. Jesus is coming back. We don't know when.
But the waiting and anticipation are exquisite, and should leave us breathless and with sweaty palms, living our lives in holiness and godliness as we wait for the coming Day of the Lord.
Our salvation is drawing near. Thanks be to God.
The Rev. Barbara Joanne Jessup is pastor of Emmanuel UMC in Dorsey.