The texts this week deal with uncertainty. Isaiah speaks to a people in exile, people who had imagined a very different future for themselves. The Psalmist extols the strength of God – something that we often need to be reminded of when we find ourselves in times of uncertainty. James gives us some concrete advice for times of waiting, acknowledging our tendency to become impatient and grumbly when we have to wait. The Gospel reminds us that while we may be confident of Jesus’ identity as the Son of God, those of that time were not always so sure – they were trying figure out who this person was that was so different from anyone that they had ever known. Even John the Baptist had to ask – perhaps we can be patient with ourselves in our moments of doubt.
During this season of waiting, continue to support each other in prayer. While it is a busy and joyous season, for some it is a very difficult season. Treat those you encounter with kindness.
On a personal note, one cause of uncertainty in my life has been resolved. This past Sunday, the congregation of Shepherd King Lutheran Church in Lubbock, Texas, voted to call me as their next pastor. Of course, as is so often the case, finding out one piece of the puzzle simply reveals how much more there is that you hadn’t thought about. I will be moving in January, so practical issues like housing and how to get things from one place to another come to the forefront. Prayer for me as I and my husband navigate this transition.
Rest assured that I am with you through Christmas, so we will navigate this holy season together.
-SAWL Darlene Hopkins