OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASherah-Leigh Gerber is a member of the pre-convention blogging team. Sherah-Leigh (Zehr) Gerber, works for Ohio Conference half-time as Coordinator of Volunteers, planning resourcing events and relating to the ministry teams of the Conference. A graduate of Eastern Mennonite University and Seminary, she has served in a variety of congregational and Conference ministry positions. In addition to spending time with her family, Sherah-Leigh enjoys reading, baking and blogging about her kitchen adventures (www.shergerber.blogspot.com). She and her husband, BJ, live in Wayne County, Ohio with their daughter Anna. They attend Kidron Mennonite Church.

If you are a frequent visitor to the convention website (www.mennocon.com) you may have noticed the ticker counting down to the second until Convention officially begins. Hopefully your own preparations for attending are well underway and you are eagerly awaiting arriving in Phoenix.

The phrase “eagerly await” hardly seems to cover what I feel right now. The countdown is on: no more than three weeks until I meet my baby! And for those planning Convention, it may also feel like anticipating birthing a child as there have been hours of planning and preparation.  Now it’s time to see what the Spirit unleashes in the gathering together.

We all have things that we “eagerly await”—perhaps going off to college, having a toddler toilet trained, retirement, Christmas morning with the grandkids, the gathering of the whole extended family, or the first days of an exotic vacation. But do we also “eagerly await” things of the Kingdom? Are we anticipating with joy the day of Christ’s return? Are we excited to take part in a fast so that God can reveal something new to us? Are we tingling with anticipation to see heaven and earth join together in a new creation?

Are we so easily distracted by the work on earth that we forget where our ultimate citizenship lies? Are we so consumed by the daily grind and the temporal pleasures that we don’t leave space for the eager awaiting of Christ in our lives? Are we excited or concerned by the idea that all things will be under Christ’s control? Are we eagerly anticipating transformation?

Anyone who has experienced (or journeyed closely with someone experiencing) the wonder of pregnancy may be well acquainted with the amazing transformation the human body is able to undergo. By the end of pregnancy (and is it any coincidence that biblically 40 represented a long time and pregnancy is about 40 weeks?), one is usually eagerly anticipating the transformation (or return) of her body. Similarly, when we are sick or dying, it may be easier to become eager about being transformed. Sometimes I think we are so well acquainted with the “lowly” that we can’t even begin to anticipate the “holy” that awaits us.

In these final weeks before Convention, I invite you to revisit the biblical texts that have been chosen. What is the Spirit stirring in your heart? Are you claiming your heavenly citizenship? What are you eagerly awaiting? What is the lowly in your life that is in need of transformation?

“But our citizenship is in heaven.

And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control,

will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

Philippians 3:20-21