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Pastor’s Desk: Anticipation, the season of Advent

Posted on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 11:34 am

Pastor Bill Schnackenberg, Centralia United Methodist Church

Anticipation. That’s what December is all about, isn’t it? Anticipation. Christmas. Presents. Lots of food. And now this year, a new vaccine to fight COVID-19. Anticipation.

It reminds me of a song from many years ago by Carly Simon. The refrain was perfect for the Heinz ketchup commercials – remember that? As we watched the ketchup slowly coming out of the bottle?

“Anticipation is makin’ me late

Is keepin’ me waitin’”

But the first verse also talks a lot about where we are today. It goes like this:

We can never know about the days to come

But we think about them anyway

And I wonder if I’m really with you now

Or just chasin’ after some finer day

This year it is especially true that “we can never know about the days to come.”  Yet December is the season of Advent and Christmas. It’s a season of hope for the nations. It’s the time of each year when we look forward. To something new. To new possibilities and challenges. And to the celebration of the incarnation of Jesus the Christ.

This season, the first of the church’s liturgical year, is a time to welcome God into our lives again, to see God face to face in Jesus and in the people around us. It’s a time to watch how God is moving in our world, in our community, in our lives. It’s a time to recognize God in our lives, now and always.

When we look back at the year we’ve just had, it would be really easy to lose sight of the ways God has worked throughout this year. But let’s look for some of the ways God showed up as we look back at events, some catastrophic, that have occurred in 2020. Because God was at work through people.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of  the Centralia Fireside Guard