Advent 10

I found out I was pregnant with Zora during Advent. It immediately changed how I felt about waiting. I’ve since seen churches that actually use an ultrasound photo as a symbol of advent waiting.

It’s a great image to wait with…for many of us, that time of waiting while pregnant was one of the most intense waiting periods of our lives. And, of course, it turns Mary, in her waiting for the birth, into a predecessor of our spiritual lives as well.

But there are also things we wait for that don’t have such a clear time-line. There are things I’m waiting for that either have no promise of fulfillment or no definable time-line.

On Sunday, for the children’s sermon, I asked the kids to wait twice. First, we waited with an hour glass-style timer. We could see how long we had to wait. Then, we waited with just my watch keeping time, and I didn’t let the kids look at it. Even though we waited for a shorter time with the watch, we all thought that period of time was longer. It’s hard to wait when you don’t know how long it’ going to take.

The luxury of the actual waiting we do during Advent is that we can count down the days, and we can always check how many are left.

But in much of our waiting, we just don’t know. Israel had no idea how long it would take for God’s  promise to break into history. And we have no idea how long we have to wait for the second version of that promise.