Wait! Don’t Skip Advent
Waiting is a pain in the neck.
Throughout history, humanity has steadily progressed toward ways to make our lives faster and easier. We now can access information instantaneously in virtual worlds of this and that and have virtually forgotten that patience is still a virtue. Also falling by the wayside are the key concepts of stillness and reflection.
In short, everything the season of Advent invites us to explore goes against the very grain of today’s fast-paced society.
In fact, Advent epitomizes another unpleasant quality: uncertainty. The early days of the Advent season reflect first on the triumphant return of Jesus at some unknown point in the future. Over and over we hear that we don’t know the day or the hour. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who squirms in church, wondering if I’m living well enough to escape the “winnowing fans” and “unquenchable fires.”
So let’s put this all together: Advent asks us to wait in uncertainty while sitting still so we can reflect on the experience. It’s no wonder our culture has chosen to skip Advent altogether. Christmas sounds more certain, immediate, and lots more fun!
Yet Advent is a microcosm of our human condition. There have been plenty of seasons in my life when I have waited in uncertainty for affirmation or resolution to a problem.