It comes as no surprise that Advent is a time of waiting. But one may ask – why? Why such a (seemingly) long time to wait to celebrate Christ’s birth? Why not move the whole deal up to the week after Thanksgiving and get it all done? Of course we know that would be terrible! Imagine a week long Advent season, with only seven days to pack in all the great things about preparing for Christmas. When you think about it, that sounds awful! Of course it does! Shortening advent would take away the best part – the waiting.
OK, so many I lost you again. The waiting is the best part? Well, yes – some of the greatest things in life are those you wait to experience. Friends and family wait at an airport for someone who has been away for months, and are more excited to see that person at that moment then they have ever been before. It is the time between seeing each other, the waiting, that makes being together again that much sweeter. The same is true for those Christmas presents we ask for. If we’d received the gifts the moments we asked for them, our excitement would have no time to build. In waiting for Christmas day, the gift becomes that much more wonderful to receive.
The same holds true in the waiting for the Living God, Jesus Christ. Our wait for Jesus will make His return that much more glorious. However, in this case our waiting has another purpose: to prepare. The longer we wait, the more time we have to prepare our hearts and minds for Jesus’ coming. Think about the prayers you said when you first began to pray. It’s likely you asked for toys or money at first, but soon your prayers began to change. Eventually these prayers made way to asking for a community of friends, a significant other or for a family. Eventually, though, our prayer become ones that will bring us even greater joy. We begin to pray for patience, for understanding, for the ability to show love to all. These are the prayers we should have when coming before our God, but it takes time to get to those prayers.
And so, we wait – we prepare and we wait as the coming of our Lord draws nearer. May we take joy in this waiting and make our hearts ready!
-submitted by Sarah Deak, SPO Development Coordinator