Day 1 – Pining, Waiting or Watching – 2023

Day 1 – Pining, Waiting or Watching – 2023

“You are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

I Corinthians 1:7

Read 1 Corinthians 1:6-9 

“What’s happening?” I fretted as the line of people inching up Moro Rock came to a stop. It was a beautiful July day in Sequoia National Park, but I was impatiently waiting for my turn to take pictures at the point of the rock overlooking a breath-taking panoramic view of the Sierra Nevada. 

Advent is a time of waiting. The hymn “O Holy Night” uses the word “pining.” Our lectionary passages use the word “wait:” “God…works for those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4), “Wait for the revealing of our Lord.” (I Corinthians 1:7). 

We wait for many things—at the line in the grocery store, for a bus, in traffic or in a theater for a movie to start. Many of us have found ways to occupy ourselves during that waiting—scrolling through our phones, reading or listening to music. But what do we do while waiting for God

Jesus says, “Keep alert, be on the watch, keep awake” (Mark 13:33-35). Jesus calls us neither to fret nor to lull ourselves into complacency, but to watch, to be ready to respond when we see his coming, God acting. 

Back on Moro Rock, I realized that instead of fretting, I could enjoy being on top of the world in no hurry. I watched a wildflower growing in a crack. I watched the mountains display the glory of God. I watched my children enjoy the view and make conversations. And too soon, my turn came to take pictures and move on. 

Lord, even as we wait and hope for your coming in our lives, we are grateful that you work to give us the spiritual gifts of hope, patience, love and joy. 

Advent Devotions
Sharon Tan, Ph.D.

Sharon Tan, Ph.D.

Special Assistant to the Office of the President Fresno Pacific University


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