In December, the church calendar in the Christian tradition is marked by the celebration of Advent. It's a time spent in waiting and preparation for Jesus' birth and his return.
Here are 5 articles on The Waking about Advent that usher us into this time of waiting and hope.
We live life in the space of both /and, where we can hope, despite there being no guarantee that our hopes are realized. We get to choose whether or not to wait on moments of magic, of transformation, of renewal with the people, communities, circumstances, and systems we’re living among.
Sometimes the wait disappoints. Other times it yields wonder. But the wait is rarely ever a waste.
The end of waiting is a milestone. There’s no sign marking it as such, but if there were I think it would say, “You are now here.” What do you do there? You put down stakes.
You take in sustenance. You begin to figure out what it means to be in the new place.
And there the miraculous became. The infant Son of God was awaited by no one but mis-matched and inexperienced parents trekking in from a local village and an insistent God-speaker, a prophet—Simeon. He had a mission, a fixation that would not rest easily in the back of his mind:
Before he left this earth, he would hold in his arms the Son of God.
Now, years later as I think of waiting, of expectation, I find myself considering what places in my life would be Bethlehems. Where are the unassuming, simple spaces into which Jesus might drop? How many of these places do I avoid, how many of them do I crowd out with deadlines and spreadsheets?
And how might I make myself more like one of those shepherds—attentive yet present, not obsessed with wait or worry but listening when a voice comes calling from the night sky.
“You just have to be gentle and patient with yourself.” And gentle with your family. And your texts. And the books you haven’t read this week. And the ones you have half-read. And your son’s new teeth. And the absent spouse. And the manuscript that has not made itself manifest on your desk like you wished it would.
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