My dear friend Jean brought her family to the children’s Christmas Ever service a few years ago. When the time came for the children’s sermon, Jean stood with her five-year-old great-granddaughter Mercy and accompanied her to the chancel area, They settled on the choir bench together. After a few seconds. Mercy decided she didn’t want to stay and ran off the platform and back to the rest of her family, leaving Jean alone.
Jean was much too poised to show embarrassment. In fact, I doubt that she was embarrassed , this spectacular and faithful ninety-year-old woman on the platform with all the young parents and small children. She sat calmly, listening to the minister. It must have been one of the longest children’s sermon in the history of children’s sermons, nearly fifteen minutes long. And through all that, with the very young children rolling around the floor and the older ones getting bored, Jean sat peacefully and confidently, waiting for the end of the story, for the announcement of the birth of the Savior.
As we plow through the commotion that is Advent for most of us, I think of Jean and wish I were more like her, preparing calmly for that moment when we welcome the long awaited king, sitting patiently and unbothered by the chaos around us as we await the baby Jesus who becomes the one who took on the sins of the world. I pray that some day I will possess as deep a faith in the coming Savior, her certainty that the Lord has come and comes now and will come.
Oh, Lord, fill me with quiet when there is noise outside and within, with calm during the clamor of the world. Let me know that when I’m alone, you are with me. When I am unable to find you, you find me if I will sit quietly and listen. Amen