“The Lord… is patient… (Therefore) what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:9,11)
Patience is a hard thing for some of us. When we know something wonderful is just around the corner we may find ourselves unable to think about or do other important things. When we find ourselves in anxious times the uncertainty can cause us to think or do things wrongly or poorly. Or, when we wait an overly long time our senses might dull, causing us to miss the wonders or certainties that bless us all of the time.
God reminds us in the season of Advent that how we are patient is as important as why we are patient; and that if we keep both aspects in mind then the difficult is less cumbersome, the unknown is less troublesome, and the routine is more bountiful. For God, both the why and the how that affect patience are grounded in the wellspring of divine love. Time for growth in and with God is granted because we are loved. And, we grow in and with God by exercising love.
As the world experiences the worst refugee crisis in history, we have the opportunity to lead a life of “holiness and godliness” by offering the gifts of certainty, comfort, and opportunity to the persecuted, the homeless, and the fearful. In short, we can offer the gift of welcome to those who believe the world has forgotten them. We can embrace the love God expresses, and express it ourselves.
Consider making a connection to a refugee ministry this season. Explore the possibilities of learning from those who come from a different culture. Listen to the refugees’ stories. Invite others to wait patiently upon God with you. Grow by and with God’s love.
Visit EpiscopalMigrationMinistries.org to make a donation to support The Episcopal Church’s ministry among refugees, or to learn how you might become more deeply involved in it.
May God bless you this day, and always.
The Reverend Canon E. Mark Stevenson, Director
Episcopal Migration Ministries