In the waiting


I’m watching, waiting for the sun to break through the skeletal trees standing as sentinels along the horizon. On most occasions waiting coffee with in hand is peace-filled, anticipating the day ahead, the world and I waiting in silence together.

Today as I watch and wait, I am challenged to find exactly where the sun will break through. There are no clouds to reflect the grow of the sun as it breaches the gap and I am left to my memory of the day before for both time and location.

In the waiting I am reminded this is the liturgical season of Advent, the time the church sets aside waiting for the arrival of Christ. Four Sundays designed to remind us of the journey and the generations the Jewish people waited for the arrival of the prophesied messiah. We have an advantage – we know how the story progresses. We know the baby will arrive from a teenage mom at an unlikely time in an unlikely time.

As the sun finally peeks through I realize how far off my prediction was. The glow broke though much further west than expected. Still glorious but where I was looking was wrong. Even more, while I was expecting the first light to break through 12 minutes before the hour, it was another 10 before the barest glimpse made it through the undergrowth. Not only did I have to wait for the place to be revealed, I had to wait even longer for it to actually happen.

I was wrong about the where and I was wrong about the when.

With the tradition of Advent we have the benefit of knowing where and when and I’m drawn to how complex things would have been for the Jewish community when Jesus entered into it. A whole people group waiting ultimately looking for the wrong thing in the wrong place and possibly at the wrong time.

I wonder if that time of waiting for the messiah would have been more akin to our waiting and longing for the end of this pandemic? The people then were waiting for someone powerful to arrive, to fix everything, defeat this enemy, remove this oppression once and for all. Is that not akin to what we face now every day in a pandemic stricken world?

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