– Waiting for Christmas –
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us;
let us find our rest in thee.
To the beloved of God at St. Peter,
Oh, the weather outside is frightful…. Winter is officially upon us. And it is cold! As the winter settles in around us, we are entering into a wonderful season here in the church. Advent is already upon us and before long we will be celebrating the birth of Jesus – the Christmas child and our risen Lord.
It is a season of eager anticipation and also of expectant longing. The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” It is a season of waiting, a period of preparation for the arrival of the Christ child even as we wait for the final coming of our Lord Jesus.
It is a season that to me, feels robed in mystery and expectation and hope. Outside, our world is already frenzied chaos as the shopping days before Christmas tick away. But here in the church, there is space. There is space to experience the joys of the season. There is space to experience the sorrows of the season. There is space to take stock of our human lives – the good and the bad, the joys and the pains, the satisfactions and the longings. And it all gets wrapped up into the waiting for Jesus. I hope that it is in this space that we discover anew that the hopes and fears of all the years are met in a stable in Bethlehem, the place where God became flesh among us, and the world had new reason to hope. That is our joy this season.
I hope that as we make our way through Advent and look toward that joyous celebration of Christmas, we will allow ourselves to take a break from the chaos and enter into the space. It is in that real and honest and expectant space that Christ will meet us. Where we will look upon the face of the babe and know the love of the Father.
Grace and peace to you,