The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

On Waiting

Tonight at worship the conversation/sermon was about waiting. I played this song for those gathered, and then we talked about how it related to the waiting we're doing:


A lot of people said a lot of good things. We talked mostly about how our culture does not take kindly to waiting. And that previous generations [non-instant-gratification generations] have a completely different relationship to time than those of us who communicate instantly and simultaneously with people we know all over the country and world all the time. 

During WWII, one of my grandfathers was stationed in the UK, and wrote my grandmother hundreds of postcards and letters. Just before or just after he died, I forget now, I remember reading them with my parents and Alex. I can't even imagine being in their situation--across the world from each other in a time of war, waiting weeks at a time for responses to letters that were essentially their lifeline. Certainly, those with deployed loved ones in this war face similar situations. But they can communicate online and make phone calls and even video calls, sometimes. 

[Tangent: I just spent 1 hour 14 minutes and 46 seconds video chatting with my dearest Ben, the Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine. He gave me the tour of his home (which I'd seen a while back, but had forgotten the details of, like how his kitchen and bathroom are one room), and walked out the front door, even, to show me the buildings of the school he teaches at and the apple orchard that is, according to the students, his. Being able to sit in my apartment in Colorado and see his face and hear his voice and see his life...what an incredible gift technology can give us. But it had been probably a year since we'd been able to video chat. That's pretty serious waiting for two millenial iPhone addicts such as ourselves. Thanks be to God.]

We talked about the hardest things we'd ever had to wait for. The resounding answer was the birth of children and news around diagnoses, etc. Interesting that the situations in which life is given and taken away are the ones we spend the most time nearly helpless and must simply wait. 

And now, in Advent, we are waiting for the Christ child. For the promise of newness of life. And because we know that that is what we wait for, we can boldly proclaim that good news to all the earth, that they may join in our preparation and anticipation.

The Mumford & Sons jam is just so perfect for this whole conversation. "These days of darkness, which we've known
, will blow away with this new sun

," Marcus sings. The wordplay possible with changing that spelling to Son is just too good to be true. John the Baptist came to prophesy that the tender mercy of God will give light to those who sit in darkness (Luke 1:78-79). It was a bold proclamation then, and it is a bold proclamation now. 

My favorite words from the song, I think, are these: "I'll be bold as well as strong, and use my head alongside my heart." Preparing the way of the Lord can look like a lot of different things, I think. But I think it comes from our heads and our hearts, together, and that it’s a bold proclamation—that all flesh shall see the salvation of God. And that's worth waiting for.

The JBap Conspiracy -- Luke 3:1-6

Hold On