Reflection by John Rohde Schwehn, Associate Pastor
“Love is patient.” Patience is a virtue that has been in short supply for me this year. I was patient in March when the lockdowns began. I was patient through the Spring, believing that our faithful separation would reward us in a few short weeks. I was patient through summertime, as we worshipped and met outside on lawns and in parking lots, taking in the fresh summer air and believing that it wouldn’t be much longer now.
I’m not feeling patient anymore. I’m sick of this waiting. I’m tired of being patient. I want to be in the company of neighbors and loved ones, family and friends. I want to wear a heavy Christmas sweater and drink hot spiced cider in a crowded room of holiday warmth and cheer in this dark, cold time of year.
A member of Christ the King died recently, and I followed as their family kept vigil at the bedside all day and all night. They cancelled plans, they found a way to gather, they surrounded their loved one with love and prayer. They were patient. But patient for what? For death. This is the patience of love; an enduring alongside through thick and thin. A constant presence, even when we know the road we are walking leads only to an unknown future, or even to death.
May God renew this kind of patience in us again. A patience that does not ask, “When can I get back the things that I want?” but asks instead, “How is this time of waiting motivated by love?” As we wait patiently for Christmas morning, this time of Advent can open us to the transformative power of patience.
Pray: God, I think I desire a greater supply of patience but really what I desire is a fuller knowledge of your abiding and steadfast love. Show me this love. Strengthen me in this love. Make me an instrument of this patient love as we wait for the healing and health of the whole world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.