Isaiah 11:1-10

December 1 is the first day of Advent: the beginning of the Christian year.  Advent is a season of recollection, anticipation and waiting.  A recognition that we live in the time between the times.  A waiting in hope – for Christ has come.  A waiting with longing – for Christ to come again.  A waiting between promises fulfilled (the Messiah has come) and promises to come (‘there will be no more death’, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away…).  
We have received so much.  And yet there is so much more that we hope for, long for and are promised.  Central to a life well lived is learning to “wait on the Lord” with faith and in hope.
Which is what we practice by gathering together every Sunday – in joy and in sorrow, sickness and health, poverty and riches.  We pray and praise, and wait together for our Lord to provide what we need.  Not with resignation or despair, but with faith, hope and love.