RIVERSIDE BLOG

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At Riverside we are on a journey to help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers across Birmingham and beyond. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, you're so welcome in this community.
November 21, 2023
What Are We Waiting For? | Series Outline

We live in an immediate world. We’ve got used to getting what we want now, now, now! With such instant access, have we missed a gift? Have we missed the beauty of being made to wait? The season of advent is all about waiting. As we get ready for Christmas, join us for this 3-week advent series to discover the adventure of waiting.

‘Because of the internet, the anticipation of waiting for things is largely gone.’ (Wired Magazine senior editor, Michael Calore)

Series Outline

26 November

Session 1: Waiting In The Dark
Malachi – Chapter 4, verses 2-6

Have you ever seen a dog tied up outside a shop, waiting for its owner. Occasionally the dog really starts whining, with a despair that wonders ‘is my owner coming back?’ And then, when the owner reappears, the joy for the dog is palpable!

There can be moments in our lives when we feel like that – in the middle of despair and we aren’t sure how it’s going to turn out. When life feels pretty dark, waiting can feel almost unbearable. What might it look like to wait, when the world around seems pretty dark?

‘…waiting isn’t just something we do; it’s a place we live – usually against our will. It’s a stage of life, a journey we take, a crucible for the heart.’
(Elizabeth Laing Thompson)

3 December

Session 2: Waiting With Your Party Clothes On
Luke – Chapter 1, verses 39-45

Have you ever been on a rollercoaster? Near the beginning there’s often a steep, slow climb to the top of a hill. As you travel up, expectation grows! And then, as you reach the top, the fun begins as momentum carries you down the hill at speed!

Waiting can sometimes feel like that – like a long, action-less climb before the excitement of what lies ahead. Or, if you like, it’s like get dressed for a party when the party is still hours away. How do we wait well, in preparation for what’s ahead, without getting too discouraged in the wait?

If we want to appreciate Advent fully we need to re-learn how to wait, to rediscover the art of savouring the future, of staying in the present and of finding meaning in the act of waiting.
(Paula Gooder)

10 December

Session 3: Waiting With Your Running Shoes On
Mathew – Chapter 3, verses 1-12

Have you ever had the situation where you’re working on a computer and you get the ‘spinning ball of doom’, where your computer just seems to freeze. And, you’re not sure what is happening, or what to do? Should I reboot, or wait, or what?! Life can sometimes feel like that. That you’re in limbo. How do you live when that’s the case?

It is reported that the last words of David Cassidy – the seventies Hollywood icon – were, ‘So much wasted time.’ After looking back on his life, he realised the opportunities he missed. Advent is a time of waiting – waiting for Christmas. And yet, many of us finding waiting really difficult, its feels too passive. What if waiting doesn’t just mean sitting around doing nothing, but rather is an attitude of heart that propels us into action? What if we can learn to wait with our running shoes on?

Most of us use ‘I’m waiting for God to reveal His calling on my life’ as a means of avoiding action.
(Francis Chan)

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Riverside is a church made up of people from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences all with one thing in common, our discovery of God and his amazing love. 

We are on a journey together to ‘help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers’. 

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