Wine Before Breakfast – Advent Waiting and “Groaning in Travail”

In what is perhaps the most remarkable turn of a phrase in the letters of Paul, the apostle tells us in Romans 8.22 that “the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now ….” This is a creation longing for redemption, longing to be set free from all that binds it.

Perhaps only the women in our community can begin to understand what Paul is talking about here, and even there maybe only the women who have given birth. I can tell you as a very concerned observer that there is an intensity in the groaning of labor like nothing else that I have ever witnessed. Groaning in travail was the way the older versions of the Bible put it.

But this is a travail, a work, a pain, born of hope. The smile on a woman’s face upon delivering her baby and holding that child to her breast is also one of the sweetest things that I have ever had the privilege to see.

All of creation is longing for that smile.
All of creation looks for the day of resurrection.
All of creation is waiting.
All of creation is in Advent.

And here’s the amazing thing.

All of creation is waiting … for us.

As we long for redemption, as we allow our voices to join in this creational chorus of longing, Paul says that the rest of creation is waiting for our redemption.

There’s the irony. The very creatures who have caused the binding of creation, her despoliation and rape, are the one’s that creation waits for. All of creation waits for our redemption so that then, and only then, will creation be lovingly tended, cared for, stewarded and kept as it was always intended.

And that is just a couple verses from our amazing texts for tomorrow morning. There is so much more going on here. So come to Wine Before Breakfast in the morning and be treated to the apostle Paul at his absolute best.

We tend to see a fair bit of Andrew at Wine Before Breakfast. But this has been a different semester for Andrew, and we have missed him. So I’m excited that our friend from the Church of the Redeemer will finally be with us to both preach and break the bread.

Deb and the band have some Sarah Slean and Mumford and Sons cooking, together with some wonderful Advent hymns. And Amy will lead the prayers.

It is Advent, dear friends. We enter a time of waiting.
And waiting goes all the way down.

Brian Walsh

Wine Before Breakfast
Tuesday, December 4 @ 7.22am
Wycliffe College Chapel
Breakfast to follow