What does it mean to wait? I have really been living into this during Advent this year. Most of the time I'm just rushing around trying to get all the "must dos" done. But this year, we are staying in WA and not traveling...we don't have family coming and I am actually finding myself having a more meaningful Advent because I'm not waiting to go somewhere or waiting for the guests to arrive. I have even given myself permission this year to not send out a mass mailing of Christmas cards which has taken one thing off of my plate. And so without quite as many distractions, the notion of waiting has really sunk in this year.
This past Sunday was the Sunday when we light the candle of Joy on the Advent wreath and the think about Mary in particular. For some reason the weight of her plight has really hit home with me this year. I remember what it was like to be 9 months pregnant, waiting for something to happen...but for some reason that kind of anticipation has not really been a part of my past Advent experiences.
But this year I am thinking about that kind of pregnant waiting...the time when you know that something is going to happen, you just don't know when. Yesterday I preached on Isaiah 35: 1-10 and talked about how people who are in the midst of difficulties long for something different...they hang onto the promise that life will be better tomorrow. But sometimes it is not tomorrow, or the next day, or the next year, or the next decade. Sometimes promises take a long time to be fulfilled.
But maybe what I'm picking up on this Advent is that promises are eventually fulfilled...it is truly not a matter of if, but a matter of when. So this Advent has been filled with the pregnant possibility that God is up to something that will be revealed someday. Although I don't completely understand God's time, I know that it is not a matter of if...only a matter of when.