But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary offers several definitions for the word “wait”. All involve staying still long enough to become ready for what is to happen next. Waiting can be done with hopeful anticipation, or with dread, or in a way which allows others to wait. In all of these events, waiting is to be done is such a way we are prepared for what is to come next. In the Christian church calendar, the season of Advent begins the year. We begin our journey through the Christian year with waiting. Advent is the season of waiting. We also begin the season reading Old Testament prophets. No one waited as long or as much for God to appear as the men and women of the Old Testament exile. During this advent season, we wait with the mothers and fathers of our faith who waited on God.
We wait for all kinds of things. We wait for God to answer prayers. We wait for God to come again, completing a task begun years before. We wait for God to do and act in the precise ways we need and want God to act.
This advent season is a time to learn to wait well. Not passively or with a disdainful, cynical eye, but with the kind of hope the Old Testament prophet proclaimed – this is not the end of the story and the power and principalities of the world do not have final say. We will practice waiting this season. Will you join me?
Questions for reflection:
How do you define waiting during this season?
What is your hope this Advent season? What do you want from God?
Prayer: Coming God, we are not good at waiting. We are taught to go for what we want and to not settle for this less than a yes answer. Sometimes, you expect us to wait for what is to come. Help us learn to become active in our waiting. Amen.