Advent is about waiting. Building anticipation. Looking forward to something better than we now have or than we now are. It is designed to formalize waiting. The little “Advent Calendar” clicks off each day building to Christmas morning.
I remember growing up, how the waiting began for me in September. The Sears Company, cruelly, sent out their toy catalogue to torment little boys and girls as they began their Christmas “wish lists,” three months early! I know that when the time came to order the gifts and fulfill the list, the catalogue was ripped at the edges from countless hours of thumbing through and probably wrinkled from sweaty, little fingers anxiously longing for the latest toy.
We waited. The agonizing last hours before Christmas morning were the toughest, in my memory. It seemed now within reach… but not quite there yet.
But I also remember this. Christmas morning was all the sweeter because of the waiting. I’m glad my parents were mean enough/wise enough to make me wait until that wonderful moment when Christmas morning came and we could finally get out of bed and go see what was under the tree!
I’m older now, but waiting still plays a part of Christmas… and of life. We still wait for something better… something that answers some of the longings in our hearts. Christmas seems to give us a place to put it…
Not under the tree… but in the deepest places of our soul.
“But when the time was full, God sent forth His Son…” Galatians 4:4
Father in Heaven, we wait, as did the people of old, for the fulfillment of many great and precious promises You have made in Your Word… promises yet to come to pass. And as we watch and wait, fill us this season of Christmas we pray with the joy of anticipating the birth of those promises, even as You fulfilled the promise to send Your Son. We thank You, Lord… even for the waiting. Through Christ our soon-coming Lord we pray, Amen.