I'm sitting at our local coffee shop, Rowsters, reflecting on this past year. It's been an incredible season for us. There have been so many wonderful people we've met, shared a meal with, and thought more about church together in Grand Rapids. Planting City Chapel, most days, feels like a complete dream.
There are other days, though, when it feels like a season of uncomfortable waiting. Mostly, for me. My hands, like to be furious with doing. I like to plan, make lists, cross out those lists, create strategic goals, develop systems. I like to organize and prepare. I like to move, move, move! But recently, I think Ron and I have been able to name that this stage, this beginning phase - cannot just be executed, it cannot be just another check list. It cannot be rushed. Instead, it must be nurtured. Tended to frequently, loved wholeheartedly, embraced, listened to. This season, is so much about honing our instincts - tuning our listening ear, as we place it to the ground searching for the Spirit of God. And, waiting as it grows.
This season for City Chapel, feels very much like the season of Advent. Wait, wait, wait. It's the immense pause before the symphony begins. The conductor's hands in the air. The wand twitches slightly. It feels like forever. Because we are awaiting something extraordinary. Awaiting the birth of a child. Awaiting the promises of God to come into fullness.
And, I know, there will be one day that we're begging for this beginning season. For the days of laughing around breakfast casserole together in a living room. Reading scripture and wondering how it could be, that the God of the universe, the God of goodness and reconciliation, established so much through a baby laying in a manger.
And so, because it's just 9 days until the balloon pops, until Santa arrives. Let's breathe together. Pause. Remember that there is something to this season of waiting, too. That it won't last forever. But as we try to be patient, we're working on skills we can't hone in any other way. This yearning, hold on to it because it will bear hope, and fruit, and goodness, and grace. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.