What Are You Waiting For?
Advent is a season of waiting. A pregnant pause before the passing of the old and the coming of the new.
It is in this season of waiting that we symbolically await the arrival of the Messiah as part of our ret-telling of the story of how God became one of us to rescue all of us.
But what is it that we are really waiting for during this blessed season of Advent? What are we expecting to find when we come to the end of it, and usher in the new year?
We journey through this season filled with memories, marked by our traditions, and charged with the purpose of finding gifts, hosting gatherings, enduring family drama, and checking the boxes on our to-do lists and calendars.
But we long for something more--something deeper. We long for things to be different. We long for the kind of connection with the Divine that so often eludes us, keeps us living in the dark.
We long to know that God sees us... hears us... knows us.
And this is what Advent truly teaches us, if we are willing to lift our heads up long enough to learn... God is near. God is with us. God is for us. The story we tell and re-tell is a story about that very idea.
Fr. Richard Rohr puts it like this:
God is not as transcendent as we first imagined, which was definitively and forever revealed in Jesus. It seems God is humble, identifies with us, is fully on our side, and is actually for us more than we are for ourselves.If we would be instructed by our Advent journey, we should be instructed on how the story of the coming of the Christ is not stuck in the past.
While the story of Advent is certainly the story of God acting in the "fullness of time" at a particular moment in our history, it is not just something that happened.
The story of Advent, the event we are waiting for, longing for and desperately expecting is the story of how God is arriving among us right here and right now.
Beloved, God is near. God is for you. God will never be far away from you.
God is making Godself known to you right now through the energy and Spirit of the eternal, universal Christ, who is always arriving in the most unexpected ways.
Your longing, and waiting during this blessed season is not in vain.
May you come to believe this with all of the unfettered joy of a child on Christmas morning. May you come to know this in your heart of hearts. May it be so today and always.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.