Good News by Ron DiCianni © 2018. Image used by Permission www.TapestryProductions.com Your browser does not support the audio element. Arise, Shine! - Dan Forrest / text from Isaiah 60 The Concordia Choir and Master Chorale / Concordia Sinfonietta Out of Darkness, Light! (2018 Christmas Concert at Segerstrom Concert Hall) I want it now. Instant gratification. Fast food. One click ordering. Same day shipping. Don’t have the money? Charge it! We get irritated waiting for a green light, not to mention waiting for the driver in front to respond when it does. Like petulant children, we want everything now! Have we lost the ability to wait patiently? It is easy to criticize, but some waiting can be difficult, anxious, or heartbreaking. Sleeplessly, a parent lies in bed, listening for the door signaling their child is safe. A military family prays for the return of a loved one. We nervously listen for the phone call with medical test results. Those who work the graveyard shift know the challenge of waiting in darkness and yearning for light. God bless those who serve at night: those who keep peace and safety, watch over patients, labor so others can rest, even those watching over flocks of sheep, because it is hard to wait faithfully. The advent season is one of joyful waiting for our Savior. We anticipate celebrating with family and friends, but we have it locked down. The Messiah’s birthday is on the calendar. We will not be surprised. This was not so with Jesus’ first coming―nor his second. In Psalm 130, the psalmist cries to a merciful God “from the depths,” knowing his own sin but thankful for the Lord’s forgiveness. Knowing God’s gracious character, he says: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning (Psalm 130:5–6). The night watch is cold, hard, and tiring, but darkness will end. As dawn approaches, the sky lightens and it becomes easier to see and be alert. Darkness fades until the day breaks and darkness is gone. The watch is long, but the sun is rising. My soul waits for the Lord. He will not disappoint. We wait for the celebration of Jesus birth and for his return. We watch in anticipation of his perfect light. Our watch may be long, but his coming scatters the darkness. O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities (Psalm 130:7–8).