Dear St. Mark’s Parish Family,

We have now entered into the season of Advent. One of the predominate themes of this season is to ‘wait.’  We wait for the Lord to act, to deliver, to help or save us.

Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord.  Be strong, take heart and wait for the Lord.”  This theme of waiting is carried throughout the story of God’s people.  The moments in scripture where the people of God had arrived to a lasting peace are infrequent and short-lived.

They were almost always on the move, looking ahead – waiting for something from God.

Abraham was promised descendants as numerous as the stars.  He waited, as did his descendants Isaac and Jacob.

They waited in Egypt for deliverance from slavery. They waited in the desert for the Promised Land.  They waited in the Promised Land for the complete victory that God had promised.

There was a brief period of time when Israel knew peace in the later part of David’s reign and throughout the reign of Solomon.  At the end of Solomon’s reign they were again plunged into civil war and strife.  They waited and so do we for the coming of our Saviour, our Messiah.

So the story goes. There has almost never been a moment when the people of God had no need of God’s help and intervention. We are always on a journey of hope and of waiting.

I have a good friend who loves the Robert Louis Stevenson quote, “It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive.”   In other words, the journey is the reward.  Today is that day.  This moment, this Christmas is your opportunity to live fully for God, to give generously to others, to take great joy in your family, your work, your play and in the life that God has given you.

There is an Adam Sandler movie called “Click”, in which he was given a universal remote. With the push of a button he could fast-forward his life through the difficult moments.  He could bypass the hard conversations with his wife, or a boring bit of work or a chore he really didn’t want to do.  He did it so often that he found himself at the end of his life having missed the most important parts.

We are all waiting for something; whether it is healing, a holiday, retirement, a wedding or – you fill in the blank.  And that is wonderful. We have great hope in our future with God.  Yet if we put all our focus upon some future that we’re hoping for, we will miss the moment of our greatest opportunity – today.

My deepest prayer is that the Lord will fill your home today and throughout this season with the joy and wonder of His presence.

Rev. Craig Tanksley