One year ends and another begins. Advent has arrived, marking the beginning of a new church year. It can be a hurry up and wait scenario if we let it turn into that. Advent’s arrival brought Christmas music on the radio this morning and of course, on the heels of Black Friday’s mad shopping sprees, the march towards Christmas can be almost frantic.
What if we did something differently though? What if we instead lived into the waiting that comes with the journey to Bethlehem? There was no quick arrival for Mary and Joseph as they plodded along and no fanfare when they reached their destination. Instead there was one person who found room for the Babe. Will you be that one this year? For these four weeks, will you be the person who chooses to wait and to seek the One who is coming?
Advent is about preparing for Christ, not Christmas so to speak. Christ has come and will come again. In fact, Christ comes now if we pay attention. It is our hearts and spirits that need cleaning. A slow unwrapping of the Love that is buried there brings us steps closer to the Holy Child, born in a stable. We can use this time to truly search for God in all things. That homeless person on the street corner with the sign that says God bless you reminds us that Christ came in poverty and many did not stop to help Mary and Joseph in their predicament. That donation you are wondering if you should make this year resembles the Magi’s generosity. That joy you share when you visit a shut-in sort of compares to the angels announcing the Good News to the shepherds. How will you prepare for Christ’s coming this Advent? How will you wait?
What do you feel as you wait? This year has held its share of sorrows–the world still needs a Saviour. Can you ponder the many gifts you have been given and find some hope there? Can you keep awake to Hope instead of despair for the next few weeks? Can you make it a habit to hope?