FreerangeFriday: Invited to Wait

by Lilly Lewin
candle in cathedral

By Lilly Lewin

Waiting…I hate it. I’m really bad at it. I am good at running ahead of God….not waiting on God’s perfect timing. I usually feel that God is late, never early. I will say that in recent years I’m improving. I have learned to pay attention to that desire to run ahead. I stop myself and remember that God’s timing is perfect even if it feels late to me! I stop and ask for directions a lot more often now. Advent is the season of waiting. It’s an opportunity, an INVITATION to wait and prepare for the arrival of Jesus rather than to run full steam to December 25th and his birth.

How do you feel about waiting? What emotions does waiting bring up? Are you good at waiting or would your rather just get on with life? Ask Jesus to show you.

Last week, I asked us to consider starting Advent early this year,  and I asked what the invitation of Jesus was to us this year. What is Jesus inviting you and me to be about in the weeks ahead?

If you are like me, your inbox today is filled with Black Friday deals and the rush to get ready for December 25th is already on! What if you stopped for a few moments, made a cup of tea and took time to WAIT on Jesus? Could you get up a few minutes early before all the household work stuff starts up and make a choice to receive the invitation to WAIT ON GOD? to pause and just be with Jesus?

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Today I  picked a mug for my tea that reminds me that LOVE is the most powerful force for change in the world. It’s a mug designed for tea by Thistlefarms. It’s a great organization that helps women coming out of addiction and trafficking. I need the reminder that LOVE is coming into the World! That Jesus is that LOVE and is inviting me to bring that LOVE to the people and places I live in this crazy season and in this darkened world.

READ PSALM 80 from The Message Bible

Listen, Shepherd, Israel’s Shepherd—
    get all your Joseph sheep together.
 Throw beams of light
 from your dazzling throne
 So Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh
 can see where they’re going.
 Get out of bed—you’ve slept long enough!
 Come on the run before it’s too late.
3 God, come back!
    Smile your blessing smile:
That will be our salvation.
4-6 God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
how long will you smolder like a sleeping volcano
 while your people call for fire and brimstone?
  You put us on a diet of tears,
 bucket after bucket of salty tears to drink.
You make us look ridiculous to our friends;
 our enemies poke fun day after day.
7 God-of-the-Angel-Armies, come back!
 Smile your blessing smile:
 That will be our salvation.
8-18 Remember how you brought a young vine from Egypt,
 cleared out the brambles and briers
 and planted your very own vineyard?
 You prepared the good earth,
 you planted her roots deep;
 the vineyard filled the land.
Your vine soared high and shaded the mountains,
    even dwarfing the giant cedars.
Your vine ranged west to the Sea,
 east to the River.
 So why do you no longer protect your vine?
 Trespassers pick its grapes at will;
 Wild pigs crash through and crush it,
 and the mice nibble away at what’s left.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies, turn our way!
  Take a good look at what’s happened
  and attend to this vine. 
Care for what you once tenderly planted—
  the vine you raised from a shoot.
 And those who dared to set it on fire— give them a look that will kill!
 Then take the hand of your once-favorite child,
 the child you raised to adulthood.
 We will never turn our back on you;
 breathe life into our lungs so we can shout your name!
19     God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, come back!
  Smile your blessing smile:
 That will be our salvation. AMEN


Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
 that the mountains would tremble before you!
 As when fire sets twigs ablaze
 and causes water to boil,
 come down to make your name known to your enemies
 and cause the nations to quake before you!
 For when you did awesome things that we did not expect,
 you came down, and the mountains trembled before you.
Since ancient times no one has heard,
 no ear has perceived,
 no eye has seen any God besides you,
 who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
 You come to the help of those who gladly do right,
 who remember your ways.
 But when we continued to sin against them,
 you were angry.
 How then can we be saved?
 All of us have become like one who is unclean,
  and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
 we all shrivel up like a leaf,
 and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
 No one calls on your name
 or strives to lay hold of you;
 for you have hidden your face from us
 and have given us over to our sins.
Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
  We are the clay, you are the potter;
  we are all the work of your hand.
 Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord;
 do not remember our sins forever.
 Oh, look on us, we pray.

Else Berg A potter (MeisterDrucke 609625)

Else Berg A potter (MeisterDrucke 609625)

What do you notice?

What does the Holy Spirit Highlight for you?

What questions come up for you as you listened to the passage?

Maybe like the Psalmist you’ve felt like you’ve been on a diet of tears, or maybe you are weeping for the horrific violence happening in Israel and Gaza and in Sudan, Congo, Ukraine etc. Talk to Jesus about where you are and allow him to hold your tears today. Take time to pray for places of violence around the world and around the country. That the Prince of Peace would come down. That LIGHT will be seen in the darkness and that peace will prevail.
NOW grab your coffee or tea.
Sit for a few minutes and let God smile God’s blessing smile on you. How does that feel? Are you willing to receive it? Breathe in God’s love and peace .

Grab a dish cloth/tea towel and use it as a prayer tool .

Consider you heart today….what “filthy rags” have been getting in your way with Jesus? HOLD on to your rag/cloth and talk to Jesus about this. Allow Jesus to remind you to confess your sins and junk to him when you use a rag/clean up cloth this week. Ask Jesus to clean up your filthy rags as you use them to clean things!

Maybe you’ve been feeling dried up like a leaf, or maybe you’re feeling like a lump of clay that is just stuck on the potter’s  wheel or  a lump of clay dried up in a corner of the studio. Which image resonates with you? Talk to Jesus about this. Allow Jesus to refresh you and mold you.

GRAB some playdough or clay, or plasticine and play with the Clay ask Jesus what he is molding you into right now. Or find some dried leaves and put them somewhere where you will see them regularly to remind you to confess your junk, your sins, and let God bring new life back to you.


“God came to us because he wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story, and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving toward the house of peace and joy. This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent his only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that he walks with us.

The challenge is to let God be who he wants to be. A part of us clings to our aloneness and does not allow God to touch us where we are most in pain. Often we hide from him precisely those places in ourselves where we feel guilty, ashamed, confused, and lost. Thus we do not give him a chance to be with us where we feel most alone.

Christmas is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and to let him—whose love is greater than our own hearts and minds can comprehend—be our companion.”

Henri Nouwen

We are not alone on our journey. Jesus is walking with us. You are invited not to be afraid. How does this make you feel? Talk to Jesus about this.
The first Sunday of traditional Advent is December 3rd. Those of us who celebrate Celtic Advent are in week 2 of 6. YOU ARE NOT LATE!!!! , just start where you are!
Start today to say yes to the Invitation to WAIT. And to the INVITATION to prepare HIM ROOM. What is on your INVITATION this Advent Season? What is Jesus inviting you to be about? What are you being invited to notice? How are you being invited to WAIT on God with us?


Lord God,
Calm us as we wait for the Gift of Jesus.
Cleanse us so we can prepare the way for his arrival.
Help us to slow down and prepare our hearts.
Give us grace today to love as you love, Help us to love with extravagance. 
Help us to wait and take time to be with you.
Help us to be present to the gift of interruptions.
Teach us to contemplate the wonder of God with us.
Teach us to know the presence of your Spirit.
Teach us to bear the life of Jesus and live out his Kingdom.
Today and Always. AMEN.
(adapted from Ray Simpson of Lindesfarne)

©lillylewin and

I have two Sacred Space Prayer Experiences for Advent and Christmas that you might like to create for your communities. They are great ways to invite people of all ages to pray with ALL YOUR SENSES! Check them out at

You can also invite me to come teach you how to create Sacred Spaces and do experiential worship in your church or community! I will set up a Sacred Space and help you get started. Booking for 2024/25 now!

christmas sacred space cover

christmas sacred space cover

Waiting Cover

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