Advent Is A Time of Longing
And I shall long for you, no matter how long it takes. - Tiffany Aurora
Longing [ˈlôNGiNG] N.
a yearning desire.
Advent is an expectant season. We journey through Advent with a sense of that expectation embedded in us.
It's the feeling that there might be something on the other side of whatever it is that we are doing---something more than just the end of the task, the check on the list.
And there is an electricity of sorts just below the surface of all of it---a reverent kind of hum that reminds us that there is something (one) coming, new beginnings on the horizon, a new thing just on the other side of what we perceive.
We long for this. All of us... long for this.
If we open our eyes wide enough, listen intently enough... we can see and hear signs and symbols of this coming newness all around us.
We can see it on the faces of children, excitedly riding their bikes to school in the chilly December air--filled with expectation of the weeks to come...
We can see it in the moments of kindness when strangers stop to help one another carry packages into a crowded UPS store, and then carry on conversations about who the packages are being sent to...
We can see it when the audience at our child's high school choir concert all stand for the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah, and then walk out of the auditorium singing it under their breath.
And we can see it in ourselves---if we let go of all of our busy-ness, our anxiety, our need to be right, perfect, certain and in control. We can see it in the moments where we are our best selves, expectant, joy-filled, wide-eyed and full of wonder.
When our longing gives way to surrender to the One who comes to us as we are so that we can become more like the One...
And our surrender then leads us to the kind of peace that is beyond understanding---a defiant, hope-filled peace that is open-armed to the future and ready to embrace the Christ who is always coming, always making all things new.
May you allow yourself to be filled with this longing, and let yourself feel the sharpness and pain that comes from experiencing that it is "not yet." But may you also find that in the longing there is joy in recognizing the signs and symbols of Christ's Advent all around you.
And may you rest in this.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.