December 5, 2021

How do we wait?

Some final words from Henri Nouwen . . .

“How do we wait?

One of the most beautiful passages of scripture is Luke 1:39-56, which suggests we wait together, as did Mary and Elizabeth. 

What happened when Mary received the words of the promise? She went to Elizabeth.

Something was happening to Elizabeth as well as to Mary. But how could they live that out?

Waiting Together

Elizabeth and Mary came together and enabled each other to wait. Mary’s visit made Elizabeth aware of what she was waiting for. The child leapt for joy in her.

Mary affirmed Elizabeth’s waiting. And then Elizabeth said to Mary, 'Blessed is she who believed that the promise made to her by the LORD would be fulfilled.' And Mary . . . burst into joy herself.

These two women created space for each other to wait. They affirmed for each other that something was happening that was worth waiting for . . .

Christian Community

I think this is the model of Christian community. 

It is a community of support, celebration, and affirmation in which we can lift up what has already begun in us. The visit of Elizabeth and Mary is one of the Bible’s most beautiful expressions of what it means to form community, to be together, gathered around a promise, affirming that something is really happening.”


Think for a moment about your community, your “household of faith.”

How could you help to make it a community of support, celebration, and affirmation?

How could you lift up what has already begun in your life and the lives of those in your community no matter the size of that community? (Remember: where two or more are gathered . . .)

How can you do more to gather around a promise when you are together with your community, affirming that something is really happening?

One Person

Pray and ask God to show you one person you could support today; one person with whom you could celebrate what God is doing; one person whose faith you could affirm.  Then do it!

Henri Nouwen 372X372

Henri J.M. Nouwen was a Dutch-born Catholic priest, professor, pastor, and author of thirty-nine books on the spiritual life.

About the Author Mary Goldring

​In my faith journey God has always used the writings of other Christ followers to encourage, inspire, and challenge me to a deeper walk with Him. My desire is that He might do the same for you as you read the writings shared in these devotionals. Blessings!

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