Advent is all about waiting. As the world grows dark here in the Northeast, we prepare for the Light. One small flame in a circle of darkness reminds us that there is a Light that always shines no matter what happens in our lives, in our homes, in our cities, in our country, or in our world. During these next few weeks we will anticipate the coming of Christ once more. Most of us won’t expect anything to be different after Christmas, but there is a childlike hope buried in each of us that wonders if, maybe, this year will be different.
How different it is might just depend on what we do while we’re waiting and anticipating. Real waiting takes endurance and it’s not for the faint of heart. There’s no sitting still and kicking back if you’re waiting for Christ to come into the world. Instead, there is preparation, activity, cleaning up and sorting out to be done. What would have happened if the ancient Israelites gave up on their God while they waited for the Promised One? What would have happened if Mary said, “no” or Joseph didn’t feel like walking to Bethlehem? What would have happened if the Magi didn’t follow a star? What will happen if you and I don’t do anything different in preparation for the Christ-child this year?
Waiting isn’t easy. We’ve all done it. I waited for 16 years for a call that has finally come. It’s not like I didn’t do anything in the meantime, but the waiting was overwhelming at times. The moments of self-doubt and frustration were intense and made me question myself and God. Hope was slippery and hard to hold onto more often than I’d like to admit. But there was a Light that shone through all the darkness, even when I couldn’t see it.
From ages past no ear has ever heard, no eye has ever seen any God but you intervening for those who wait for you! Oh, that you would find us doing right, that we would be mindful of you in our ways!”
For me it feels like a very long period of Advent waiting is over. However, Advent is just beginning and there is more Light waiting to come into this world. We still wait for peace. We still wait for justice. We still wait for equality. We still wait for so much in this dark and broken world. While we are waiting, what are we going to do differently this year so some hope, some expectation, really can be fulfilled?
“But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it—neither the angels of heaven, nor the Only Begotten—no one but Abba God. Be constantly on watch! Stay awake! You do not know when the appointed time will come.”
Photos used by permission from pixabay.com