The Christian year begins again. The first Sunday of Advent announced the coming of the Incarnate One and challenges us to prepare. Here is a time to ‘get right’ with God as we remember his incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ. We also reflect on how Christ is coming to us again (in his second coming). In between these two comings we experience the presence of Christ by his Spirit, but we wait for his return where ‘all shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.’ In a world where all manner of things are corrupt and broken, we wait and we groan.
I am not good at waiting, but I feel like I’ve been getting lots of practice. I feel frustrated in my vocational goals and tethered to a place my family and I never intended to call home. I am waiting for what good thing God has in store for us and do not know what the future brings except to say: Christ has come, Christ will come again. That is a huge encouragement to me, but it doesn’t mean I am happy about every aspect of my life. I am grateful, but I am also frustrated.
Waiting is not suppose to be fun. It is not the time to be driven to distraction through trading Good Friday for Black Friday and Midnight Mass for Midnight Madness. To wait is to be dissatisfied, to long for more and kick against the status quo. This is Advent. It isn’t piously and passively biding time. We wait and we groan for restoration and justice, for reconciliation and wholeness, for peace on earth and good will towards humanity, for a new heaven and a new earth. These things are bound up with the God born in a stable and nailed to a tree. Because of Christ’s coming we were given hope. When he returns all will be restored. This is why we wait.
Tis the Season to Be Jolly?. . .nope. This is the season to be dissatisfied, to wait and long for the good things God has in store for those who are in Christ Jesus. And to invite others into the newness of life that Christ offers. Jesus is coming.