It is for you, O LORD, that I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, Who will answer. (Psalm 38.15)
With so few days to go—and so much to get done in those few days—Advent’s charm wears thin. The waiting metaphor is likely to be greeted with a curt “I get it.” The poetry of deep nights and lowering cold and the bright star hung high in the sky grows redundant. The hymns of hope and expectation start feeling a little desperate: how many Sundays can we sing invitations to a Newborn? The carols—early arrivers, one and all—have already got tinny and hollow sounding.
What little time we have for pondering gets bargained away. A winter storm screws up travel. A sold-out gadget sparks hours of searching to find it elsewhere. Late-breaking additions to the guest list unleash a flurry of adjustments, reworking everything from sleeping arrangements to cookie quantities.
We think we have no more time left to wait, even though we really have no choice. And somewhere in our final bursts of energy and to-do-list panic we have to reckon with that. We’re still waiting. We will be kept waiting until the Child arrives. Nothing we can do about it. We can play with the schedule every which way till Tuesday, but it won’t be Christmas until Christ gets here. We wait, not on a date—but for a Savior, Who will come to us at the appointed time and not one moment sooner. In Advent, there is no “almost there.” It’s about getting to where “there” is—to the place where Christ is born in us anew and afresh. Everything up to that point is, well, waiting.
In The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers, John Bell prays:
You keep us waiting. You, the God of all time, want us to wait. For the right time in which to discover who we are, where we are to go, Who will be with us, and what we must do. So thank you… for the waiting time.
So to honor Him
When we come