Waiting in Advent
Waiting tends not to be an experience many of us relish. “Patience is a virtue” is maybe the last thing we want to hear with the many demands upon our lives.
In the church, however, we have a whole season given over to waiting and patience. It’s called Advent which comes from the Latin word meaning “to come”. In Advent, our spiritual practice is to wait, to wait for God and God’s coming salvation.
Interestingly, as December appears suddenly out of nowhere – “Wasn’t it just Halloween?!” – and Christmas fast approaches – “I’ve barely put a dent in my shopping list!” – many of us find waiting all the more difficult and patience in even shorter supply. We are more tempted to huff in exasperation at the car in front of us “O come ON!” than we are to sing happily “O Come Emmanuel!”
But what if we resisted that temptation? What if when we most felt like grousing impatiently or cursing to ourselves or another, we instead stood still for a moment and sung quietly the first verse of that beautiful carol:
O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, shall come to thee O Israel!
I guarantee that wherever you find yourself that one verse will have a transformative effect upon how you see everything around you. Give it a try.
Merry Patience. Happy waiting. Have a blessed Advent!
—Rev. Will Burhans