A few days ago, I put out one of my Nativity scenes and thought about how Advent is the Season of waiting – waiting for the One – Jesus. I thought about how our culture does not nourish the activity of waiting. Yes, it is a true activity. Rather, we cherish busyness and get-go-it-ism. As Henri Nouwen says in a writing, “For many people, waiting is an awful desert between where they are and where they want to go and people do not like such a place.”
He goes on to say that we have difficulty waiting because we are afraid of this activity, and we allow fear to drive us. I know that I suffer from this at times. For example, who doesn’t want a negative medical diagnosis turned around in a matter of days rather than weeks or months? Or how about the coronavirus? Don’t most people just wish it would disappear this next week?
But, Advent is the Season to wait for the blessed One. Waiting is the practice of being totally in the moment. Waiting, during Advent, is waiting with a sense of promise. It is an activity, and it is filled with hope. “Hope is trusting something will be fulfilled, but fulfilled according to the promises and not just according to our wishes (Henri Nouwen).
Lord, during this Advent season, help us to have the patience necessary to wait on Your blessed Coming. Help us to put aside our busyness, and look forward to the promise and hope of You. Help us, dear Lord, to live in the moment. Thank you, Lord, for the strength of people like Mary and Joseph, who believed in the Word, and knew how to wait for the Lord’s birth. Amen.