What We’ve Been Waiting For

So here’s the deal….
I was stuck trying to write my newsletter article for December and was sort of whining about it to friends online…you know, like you do…when one of them proceeded to GUSH at me about Advent. Describing herself as an impatient, imperfect Lutheran Christian who loves Advent hymns, my friend drug me into the joy of what seemed at the time so tedious. I’m so grateful for that, I’ve decided, with her permission, to share with you her take on this blessed, holy season. Please enjoy! -Pastor Heather

Waiting is hard.
REALLY hard.
And it’s not very fun, either.
Waiting in yet another line at the store. Waiting for the bus. Waiting for that oh-so-slow clock to FINALLY say that work is over, that it’s time to go home.
Waiting for the results of a test (good and bad).
Aside from the everyday mundane things, there are good things to wait for.
Sometimes finding the patience for those moments is even more difficult.
Waiting for a chapter update on that story we can’t stop reading.
Waiting for that moment when we get out of the car, or get off the bus or train or plane, and finally embrace the ones we’ve missed so much.
Waiting for our graduation day. Waiting for our wedding day. Waiting for the birth of a child.
Waiting for Christmas.
Advent seems tedious; our culture rushes straight past it and into Christmas without a second thought. Often before all the Halloween candy is put away, let alone eaten.
No one likes to wait.
And yet that’s what we do during Advent.
There is preparation in waiting. Before a party, before a trip. Certainly before big life events. Sometimes the preparation threatens to overwhelm us and overshadow the main event. That is not what Advent and Christmas are meant to be – one shouldn’t overshadow the other, though that’s what has happened. The two seasons are meant to compliment each other.
We can’t have the celebration of Christmas without the waiting of Advent.
Advent isn’t always sitting quietly – though in reality that’s what we need in our hectic world. A moment, a few minutes, to ponder what this season is all about:
The moment when the waiting ended, and the Promised Savior appeared. The Prince of Peace, as Isaiah called Him.
We wait for many things in this world. An end to suffering, an end to political turmoil, an end to war.
We don’t have to wait any longer for an end to death. It has already been destroyed.
Jesus destroyed death.
That is why we have hope during Advent, and peace during Christmas.
Because the hope we have has been fulfilled. The promise is kept.
Peace is here. He is beside us, and with us, always.
No more waiting. Even when it feels like we SHOULD have enough time to prepare for whatever we’re waiting for, usually we don’t.
We’re not prepared. We forgot the type of cake the birthday person liked, we didn’t get the floors scrubbed before the guests came, we forgot that Thing at the store our spouse or our kid reminded us to get 47 times.
The first Christmas wasn’t planned on by those who’d been waiting.
Not even His mother had planned it that way. I’m sure she would’ve preferred to give birth in her own hometown, not far away among strangers and sheep.
And when He did come not many recognized Him. Those that did were the outcasts and foreigners.
They knew what had been promised. They knew what to look for. When they were told that yes, THIS IS HIM, THE ONE YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR, they listened.
They saw.
And they rejoiced.

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