Since this pandemic began, we have been in a season of Advent. We’ve been in a posture of waiting, hoping, anticipating, and enduring.
For nearly two years now, we have been in Advent. That season of less daylight when we live “in the shadows,” as it were.
We are waiting for news that Covid has been defeated, hoping that no new variants show up, anticipating the day when we can lose the masks, and enduring each day, week, and month until then.
Instead of four weeks, Advent feels never ending. That’s because, like Advent, there is a not-yet-ness about the world right now. It is an excruciatingly long in-between time.
Before the arrival of Christ, there was also an atmosphere of waiting. There was a sense that the world wasn’t as it should be or could be. Not yet, anyway.
But God had promised better days. Days of justice and prosperity. Days of restoration and growth. Waiting on those promises was an affirmation of faith. It was a way of proclaiming that because the world was out of whack, it meant that God was, most assuredly, on the way.
So it should be for us today, as well.
There is a lot of chaos in the world right now and, consequently, in our personal lives, too. That’s why God is coming. That’s why God will be born among us so that the door will be opened to that promised, better world.
Waiting, then, is an act of faith. It is an act of trust. In the most extreme, it is saying: “Bring it on, world! The days of your restrictions and hardship are numbered!”
Christmas is coming.
Granted, Christmas is not a magical day in the sense that we wake up to find racial injustice, Covid 19, nationalism, and unchecked violence are all a dream. Instead, the gift of Christmas is a new start. A divine, new start in which we are invited to move out into the world accompanied by a newfound sense of God’s reign having enveloped the earth.
Christmas brings a time of recovery from the nightmare of our worst selves. It brings a time of fulfillment of our waiting, hoping, anticipating and enduring. It is an opportunity to experience what God’s promises can mean for our lives and our world.
In the meantime, we remain in this extended Advent; treasuring what daylight there is and navigating the not-yet-ness in the shadows of these times.
See you in church,