I Need Advent

I must confess, it is really tempting to run headlong into the Christmas season this year. I mean, who doesn't want more light, more joy-filled music, more decorations, more "tidings of comfort and joy"? 

The world feels so heavy right now.
There days are shorter, yet somehow each one seems to last forever.
Every 24 hours is full of more Covid cases, more hospitalizations, and more death.
The news cycle is an incessant metronome of infection numbers, overburdened systems, and political drama.
And yet simultaneously, each day seems to be an almost exact carbon copy of the day before, and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before . . .
Yes, we all desire the "good news of great joy for all the people". I know I do.

However, what I think I really need this year is Advent. I need the waiting. I need the liminal space of the almost but not yet. I need the anticipation of something new. I need it because that is exactly where I am living every single moment of every single day. There is an uncertainty in these days. There is something on the horizon that I can't quite see, but I know is there. Today, I need to be reminded of a God who meets me right there in the midst of it all. I need Advent.

Each year during the season of Advent, Christians are invited into the expectant space before Christmas with intentionality. This waiting is active. It is a season full of reminders of hope, peace, joy, and love in the face of evidence to the contrary. It is a season of preparation to receive the promise which has not yet arrived. 

As we begin our liturgical year together, may we take our time. May we find moments to pause. May we breathe deeply. May we stand on our tiptoes. May we look toward the horizon with anticipation of God's inbreaking, God's revelation, God's incarnation. May we discover the ways in which God meets us right where we are.


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