Waiting for the Lord: Advent Chapel

Fuller community celebrates early and abbreviated Advent season in All-Seminary Chapel

MDiv student Kim Barker

Celebration of the advent season comes early at Fuller Theological Seminary as the community gathers each year to cultivate the attitude of waiting for Christ together before the end of the fall quarter.

The first advent chapel at Fuller's Pasadena campus was held on November 20, 2013 with a time of worship, prayer, and reflections on the period of waiting and anticipation for the fulfillment of God's promises.

The theme of this year's advent chapels is "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." Fuller students, faculty, and staff gathered in the chapel space were ushered into a time of quiet reflection and singing.

Refrains of "Wait for the Lord" led by the Fuller Vocal Ensemble punctuated the air, accenting the worship time.

MDiv student Kim Barker shared her experience of pain and waiting after losing her father during her first two weeks of school at Fuller.

"The present moment of my life is full of sitting in apprehension, contemplation and so much impatience," she said. "I want to barge right into heaven find my dad in a crowd and give my dad a hug now…but I can't do that. The world does not operate according to our desires of immediacy and convenience. Instead we have to wait."

Barker explained that her community at Fuller has been helpful to wait and sit in this period of angst and questions,

"So together in this advent season we all wait in anticipation and hope longing for the Messiah who will one day bring fullness of the kingdom," Barker said. "Let us usher in this advent season looking for to the day that God is fully realized and the shadow of death is a distant memory."

"Wait for the Lord, whose day is near. Wait for the Lord, keep watch take heart," everyone sang.

MAT/MAICS student Ryan Showalter and his wife Jen also shared their moving story of waiting and enduring through a time of sickness and uncertainty.

"Wait for the Lord, whose day is near. Wait for the Lord, keep watch take heart."

The chapel ended with an invitation for the community to join in a period of fasting and prayer together. The community will observe a second advent chapel on November 27, 2013. The advent season will end on December 4 when President Mark Labberton delivers the Christmas sermon. The community will break fast together that day.

To see the chapel schedule for this quarter, go here. If you have questions about the service, you can contact chapel@fuller.edu