The season of Advent brings to us a rare opportunity: WAITING.
As a child, I remember getting catalogs in the mail. Occasionally, my mom would order something on my behalf. We had to mail the form in with payment and wait weeks for it to be processed and sent. Now, I regularly order items from Amazon and get them within 3 days. My ability to wait grows smaller every day.
In college, as the internet grew and became the go to place for information, it was common to ask a question and get the answer in a matter of minutes with those dial-up modems. Today, I can usually find it in 10-15 seconds with a simple search on my phone. My ability to wait grows smaller every day.
There are far too few opportunities in life to learn this important skill: waiting. A once normal element of life has gone away in a world with 24 hour stores and lightning fast internet connections.
Advent and Christmas are a holy time, preparing for the coming of Jesus. We rightly focus on the celebration of Jesus’ birth, on Mary and Joseph, and remembering the first Christmas so long ago. Jesus brings to us great joy and life filled with God’s love. The power of God is not limited to the moments we celebrate Christmas. The time of Advent brings us opportunity to see God as well. We learn how to wait. We learn how to wait for what we already know is coming.
It’s easy to jump straight to Christmas. Waiting during Advent allows us to focus on the blessings of paying attention to what is before us in the moment. God is already doing work in our lives and we wait to see the next moment of that evidence. It’s not only in the manger we find God’s work in our lives. It is there before us every day, waiting for us to notice.
We know Jesus is coming. May we wait and see through the stable to know the work of God on each day between now and Christmas.