One of the difficult things about Advent is the idea of waiting. In general, our culture does not like to wait. Two-day shipping has turned into one-day shipping. A catalogue of movies and shows are available at the click of a button. I have seen billboards that advertise the wait time at hospitals. It appears our mission is to reduce everything to the immediate. Yet, we still must wait for some things.
There are different ways to wait. We can wait with dread about something bad. We can wait with joy for a something good. So, what is it like to wait for something that has already happened? That is the funny reality of Advent, we are waiting for Christ to come into this world, but he already has. We are waiting to hear the greatest story ever told, but we already know how it starts and how it ends. This is a different sort of waiting. This gives us a glimpse into the mind of God and the divine timeline. This time is not linear. It requires us to reorient on minds, so we wait for the past.
I like to approach Advent by first reflecting on how Christ’s birth has affected me. Then, I like to think about how Christ with us on earth will affect my life, faith, and actions going forward. I make sure I focus on Christ’s entrance into the world. When we know the ending it is tempting to jump ahead and think of his saving death. So, I remind myself to stay at the beginning. God has changed the world with the birth of Jesus. It has influenced us already, but it is influencing us anew. The world has changed. We are changed. What does that mean for our past and our future?
The Reverend Robert Galloway