For many of our contemporaries Christmas is already in full swing. Lights, trees, santas, and so much more already crowd the shops. The first turkeys and mince pies are being eaten, and we are bombarded with carols and festive songs. It can make Advent a very difficult season to observe. Thankfully our churches give us an oasis of calm where we can reflect and take stock about what really matters.
The readings for Advent and the liturgy of the season tell us to watch and wait. It’s a message that our busy world cannot begin to contemplate. Everything must be instant, immediate, and quick. That’s a shame as the best things in life are worth waiting for – and top of the list is love.
The characters we meet in the readings are prepared to wait: John the Baptist, Joseph, Mary, and the Old Testament prophets. We too are called to wait – for the return of Jesus in glory. They are our examples.
Christian waiting is not an act of resignation but rather a positive longing. We are prepared to wait so that we can realise more fully what we are to receive. We wait so that we can be even more joyful. We wait in confidence and hope.