There are many ways to wait. You can wait with annoyed impatience in a checkout line that’s moving about as fast as molasses in January when you’ve got places to go, people to see, and things to do. You can wait with fear and dread for an upcoming exam at school or a report from the doctors office. You can wait with bored indifference or maybe even resignation for your moment of fame in the dentists chair. Or you can wait with eager anticipation like a kid looking forward to presents on their birthday or the student counting down the days until graduation. But, as long as we live here on planet earth we will go through seasons of having to wait at one point or another.
As we enter the season of Advent today we find ourselves in a different, maybe unfamiliar kind of waiting. Many of us didn’t grow up observing the Advent season. Advent at best – if acknowledged at all- was probably just a precursor to Christmas; the appetizer before the main entree rather than an important season in its own right. Important because it creates a space to help us focus our hearts and minds on the true meaning of Christmas in the midst of the crazy, commercialized, secular celebration that surrounds us. Not that there’s anything wrong with all the trappings of Christmas or the cherished traditions with which we mark the holiday, but there is much more to Christmas than the trees, lights, family dinners, and gift exchanges. It takes a wee bit of effort to create that mindful space for reflection and contemplation for ourselves within a society that pressures us to conform to the sometimes mindless/mind numbing, frantic activity that surround the holiday season, but it is so worth the effort.
So we invite you to slow down a bit this Advent season. Join us in taking time to think about what we’re celebrating and why. Let’s spend some time in thoughtful, purposeful waiting as we prepare to celebrate the Messiah’s birth. There are tons of ways to do this. A few intentional ways to help you accomplish this are: Advent Calendars that have scripture and/or devotionals, or devotional books geared specifically toward Advent themes, online Advent devotionals, Advent trees or wreaths, or other ideas to count down the days until Christmas. There are also some really cool, fun ideas out there that are geared for families with kids, but will work for just about anyone. Here are some links to help you get started on your Advent adventure.
There are so many resources available to help you out there for the taking – many more that we’ve listed here. The Lord bless you as you wait!