I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. Psalm 130: 5-6 (NRSV)

Over the course of 28 years of ministry, Kevin Thomas, from Alabama, sat with hundred of families in dozen of hospital waiting rooms. It's an agonizing time filled with sorrow, loneliness, and fear. Virtually every family tells him that waiting is the worst part. No one seems to enjoy this kind of sad, passive waiting.

But another kind of waiting moves us to put up trees, light candles, and hang wreaths. This anticipation brings joy. It thrills our souls. We look forward to it all year long - waiting for the appearance of the Christ child. As we mark each day off the calendar, the excitement grows, moving us to acts of love and kindness toward friends and strangers alike. We wait, full of hope, because we know that good news is coming to a manger and into our hearts. This advent, may we join the psalmist in singing, "I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning."

That sleepy guard on the last watch of the night stands in anticipation of the sunrise that will set him free from his toil. In a similar way, we wait this month with excitement for the appearance of the Son who will set us free.

Prayer: Loving God, fill our lives with hope that moves us to acts of kindness, in Jesus' name, amen.

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