A reflection from Rich Dixon which about the heart of Advent.
I told Jon a couple of weeks ago I was excited about his new Advent book.
We ordered copies for friends and I wrote, “I can’t wait to get started.”
I thought “I can’t wait” meant “I’m excited,” so I smiled at Jon’s reply.
“You have to wait. Advent doesn’t begin until November 29.”
On the surface his one-liner was a small joke between friends. However, the banter about waiting for Advent included a bit of irony, since Advent is all about waiting. As I chuckled I realized Jon wrapped his quip around a kernel of eternal wisdom.
Waiting is hard.
When you’ve planned and organized and done everything possible. When you’ve prepared and you’re ready for it to happen NOW, and for whatever reason it can’t or won’t and there’s nothing left to do but wait, waiting is hard.
When symptoms are scary and there’s no diagnosis. When the test results aren’t back, waiting is hard.
When the vaccine is soon-but-not-yet. When we want so badly to hug distant loved ones and return to whatever we thought “normal” meant, waiting is hard.
Perhaps one reason waiting is so difficult is that waiting feels passive. Waiting often means inactivity, doing nothing, killing time by mindlessly scrolling through my phone until it’s finally my turn – with no assurance that my turn will ever come because, in practice, waiting often means never.
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Advent season transforms passive waiting into active anticipation. We’re involved in the work of faith, a quiet expectancy of I-know-it’s-gonna-happen.
Advent encourages us to use time rather than killing it by inviting us on a journey that enriches the destination. It’s hope based on faith that changes and enhances the final celebration.
I’m excited for Jesus to come, and to come again.
I can’t wait!