In these days of Amazon next-day delivery it’s hard to remember that when I was a kid we would save up cereal box tops to send away for toys and things. And the form you filled out would always contain the fateful words, “allow four to six weeks for delivery.” In some ways there was a delicious anticipation to the waiting, but mostly it was just frustrating. Waiting and kids don’t go together so well. And as we enter the four weeks of another Covid Advent I find myself filled with both anticipation and frustration. Anticipation of a season that feels more like normal than a year ago. (I’ll eat Thanksgiving Dinner indoors at my sister’s!) Frustration that we’re still wearing masks and tracking new case numbers. And sadness at the continued deaths.
Advent is about waiting, but it’s mostly been the waiting of anticipation. A pandemic is an enforced, not of my choosing, out of my control waiting. Such is the waiting of the oppressed, the poor, the sick. As I share their kind of waiting again this Advent, I find myself longing deeply for a world transformed. And that is the true heart of Advent waiting. Not for the celebration of the birth of Christ, but for it’s fulfillment in his return. Maranatha! Lord Jesus come!