It's now the second Sunday of Advent, a period when most folks prepare for the annual celebration of Christmas. Some of us will celebrate a secular social holiday with trees, and parties and gifts. Others of us will celebrate the birth of our Savior with worship and fellowship (and trees, and parties and gifts). Besides being a time of preparation, Advent also serves as a time of "expectant waiting." It reminds some people of the patience of the original Hebrews, who waited for the Messiah to come and who wait still. For others folks, it reminds us of the One who came, and who will come again.
Unfortunately, Advent has also become a time for a different type of waiting. We wait until Black Friday to get the best deals. We wait in traffic to shop for stuff. We wait in line to buy our presents. We wait for the mail to see how bad the bills will be. We wait to see what we get, before we make any plans to give. And, we wait to do unto others until they have done unto us. But, regardless of our respective religious convictions, Advent should be special time for all of us. It should be a season of patience, and a time of peace.
I was fortunate enough to hear a wonderful sermon on the second Sunday of Advent. In it, Pastor Rhonda Kouterick of the First United Methodist Church reminded me of the meaning of Advent. As a result, I completely rewrote this story after the church service. Well, I first took my family out to lunch before our annual trip to cut down a tree. But, it only gave the meaning of Pastor Rhonda's sermon time to percolate in my mind. But, at the risk of preaching to myself, allow me to shift to the topic of local history. But, be sure to keep the meaning of Advent in mind.