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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Approach’ as in… coming near.

As we approach this year’s season of Advent, perhaps now more than ever, we might keep this in mind:

God approaches us, God is coming near! That’s good news for a pandemic-weary people.

In his book, Whistling in the Dark, Frederick Buechner offers an image of Advent that never grows old for me: a powerful image of what it means to approach the season of Advent:

“The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised the baton. In the silence of a midwinter dusk there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff in the air of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart. The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.”

The coming season of Advent is a season of deep anticipation! It is the longing that we feel in our souls; a longing for hope, for peace, for joy, for love. It is that simmering excitement we feel just before the curtain comes up, it’s that momentary breathlessness just before the conductor’s baton comes down. It is the sound of beautiful silence in the late afternoon just between dusk and dark when our hearts long for something for which we have no words.

Approach. God is approaching, God is always coming near! That’s the promise of God to a pandemic-weary people who enter days of waiting for new life.

So let me ask you this: what are you waiting for?


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where be blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche), or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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