Epiphany - Revisiting Advent - Is the Wait Over?

Epiphany brings with it new discoveries of that which we thought we once knew. This Epiphany Sunday, I find myself gazing back at the season that has just passed. 

Each Sunday during the four weeks of Advent a candle was lit as churches gathered to worship and waited for the arrival of the Christ.

On the first Sunday we lit the first candle on the Advent wreath, the candle of hope. And we waited. 
A full week later, we gathered once again and lit the second candle on the Advent wreath, the candle of peace. And we waited. 
On the third Sunday of Advent another candle was lit on the wreath, the candle of joy. And we waited. 
Yet another candle was lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent, the candle of love. And we waited. 

The final candle was lit on Christmas Eve, the Christ Candle. The wait was finally over.  

Or was it.

I missed something along the way. For...
hope void of action is only wishful thinking; 
longing for peace without being an agent of change is an exercise in futility and an acceptance of the status quo;
the promise of joy when traded in for the lure of momentary happiness is empty; 
love found in words alone is little more than a romantic notion and saccharine coated politeness.

At the end of Advent, the coming of the Christ is represented in a sanitized nativity scene that can be safely packed away in its cardboard box for yet another year of waiting.

I am challenged this Epiphany to allow the one born into the messiness of this chaotic world to move me toward...

I don't want to wait any longer for a faith that can be found in the depth of my unsanitized life.


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