Advent is a time of anticipation and waiting, a joyful waiting even in the dark and cold of December in this part of the world. Many of us aren’t very good at waiting. We want things now. We growl at traffic lights, tap our feet impatiently while waiting in line, sigh loudly when a store clerk isn’t as quick as we would like. We have instant messages and instant soup and instant coffee. But the speed of those messages, the coffee and soup doesn’t really make them as satisfying as a thoughtful note, a freshly ground and brewed cup of coffee or soup that’s simmered for hours on the stove.
The Gospel today traces the waiting for the birth of Jesus that began with Abraham. Fourteen generations of waiting. That’s a time span we can hardly imagine. Those generations were tested in their faith, yet they believed and they waited. This time of waiting and anticipation can strengthen our own faith as we think of those generations before us.
The Advent season seems to go so quickly; it can be gone in an instant. I want to find joy in waiting, to remember that God is with me as the light turns red or as my line moves at a snail’s pace at the grocery store. Those are wonderful times to take an instant and turn it into a prayer of thanksgiving and a prayer of joy.
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