By Grace Corbin
On the last Friday evening of November, surrounded by the winter-decorated sanctuary of Central Lutheran, I sat expectantly as I waited for Augsburg’s Vespers Service to begin. Augsburg Vespers is a concert and a worship experience, led by Augsburg’s Music Department and Campus Ministry. Maybe a few of you have attended this beautiful worship that marks the beginning of Advent.
Ringed by my former fellow choristers, I was quietly anticipating an event that shaped my choir experience at Augsburg. There’s always so much to take it when attending Vespers. The sanctuary was beautifully decorated with blue hues and lighted trees. You can’t help but sit there and know that something awe-inspiring is about to take place.
Soon the orchestra began to play its opening number, and I was immersed into the longing of Advent. Then the whole audience was invited to stand and sing “Unexpected and Mysterious.” I had never heard this hymn before, but quickly fell in love with its unique melody. As I reflect now on this flowing song I am taken by the last verse.
We are called to ponder myst’ry and await the coming Christ,
to embody God’s compassion for each fragile human life.
God is with us in our longing to bring healing to the earth,
while we watch with joy and wonder for the promised Savior’s birth.
THIS WHOLE VERSE sums up what advent means to me. I continue to come back to the second half of the verse, God is with us in our longing to bring healing for the earth, while we watch with joy and wonder for the promised Savior’s birth. On this last day in this season of longing, we still wait with anticipation for many things. We wait for a little boy to be born, we wait for peace to come to earth, we wait for a source of hope. And in our longing, God is with us. During this time of anticipation for the birth of Christ, we are not offered answers, but the gift of presence.
“During this time of anticipation for the birth of Christ, we are not offered answers, but the gift of presence.”
During what is a busy season for church folk, who are you being present to? Is there someone in your life who could use your gift of presence? Or maybe, in this busy time, are you in need of the gift of presence?
Remember to take a break, take a breath, and pause with those people who are in need of your gift of presence. Soon a little baby boy will be born and the waiting will be no more.