“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, in God’s word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord.”
As we enter the second week of the Advent season, we realize that much of Advent is about waiting. Yet, so often we consider waiting a waste of time; perhaps because our culture is constantly saying, “Get going! Do something! What are you waiting for?!” We typically do not enjoy waiting, but want to get moving and do something worthwhile.
In an Advent meditation by the late theologian Henri Nouwen, he wrote, “Waiting is even more difficult because we are so fearful—not just as individuals but as whole communities and nations. Fear explains why it is so hard to wait and how tempting it is to act out…Those who live in a world of fear are more likely to make aggressive, hostile, destructive responses than people who are not so frightened. The more afraid we are the harder waiting becomes.”
In this week and in this Advent season, may our waiting for the promised coming of God to break into our lives with the arrival of the Christ Child be more about living with hope and expectation and less about living with fear.