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Advent Waiting

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“The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat; the calf
and the young lion will feed together, and a little child will lead them.”
–Isaiah 11:6

This verse from Isaiah speaks to a future with hope and peace as the cornerstones of life.  The writer gives an image of this hope and peace using extreme contrasts…a wolf and a lamb; a leopard and a young goat; and a calf and a young lion living and lying down and feeding together in peace.  And in the midst of it all is a little child.  This image is much of what we are waiting for during the season of Advent as we wait for the coming of Emmanuel as God with us in the form of the Christ child.

Yet, waiting is not a strong characteristic for many of us.  We have a hard enough time waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting in traffic and waiting too long for our name to be called for a doctor’s appointment.  We live in a culture that celebrates immediate results, instant gratification and quick action, not patient waiting.  And certainly waiting for the peaceful existence that Isaiah lays out seems to be a long time coming and more of a dream than a possible reality.

Yet waiting is a major theme in the Bible and a major theme in these Advent weeks leading to Christmas.  Advent waiting is not just a waiting around, it is intentional waiting and trusting that something is coming that is not fully here yet.  That something, is the world as God intends where we can live together in all our difference and diversity.

May our waiting during this Advent season find us working and living together as the body of Christ to make the world a more hopeful, peaceful, loving and joyful place for Christ’s coming.