Who likes to wait? Let’s see a show of hands.
Waiting is not a skill we cultivate in 2016, is it? Most of us hate being put on hold, or getting stuck behind that driver who’s going 15 miles an hour slower than the speed limit. I confess I’ve walked into shops, seen a long line, and turned right around and left without whatever it is I wanted. I’ve left restaurants rather than wait for a table.
Sometimes we can choose not to wait, but sometimes we can’t, and sometimes there’s more at stake than a table at a restaurant.
Like waiting for a diagnosis. Waiting for the pain to stop. Waiting for a loved one to heal, or for a loved one to die. Waiting to hear whether you got the job, or whether you’ll lose the job. Waiting for a child to be born, or a child to grow up. Waiting for justice. Waiting to be loved.
Today is the first Sunday in Advent, the first day of the church calendar. As our Jewish neighbors begin the day at sunset, so Christians begin the church year in the darkening quiet of ever-deeper winter. Advent is the night of the Christian year. Night is all about waiting, and waiting is, to some extent, about helplessness. Waiting for dawn or light or love or relief, we are helpless to turn back the darkness or hurry the clock along so that it says 7:00 a.m. instead of 2:00 a.m. There really are some things we can do nothing about. That is hard news for many of us who like to think we’re in control of our lives. We want to be proactive – which is good and right and faithful. But sometimes we have to wait. Read more →