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Watching and Waiting

by Rhonda Waters, Associate Priest

Advent is my favourite season of the church year. I love the themes of hope and light, the way the promise of Christ and the promise of the Kingdom intertwine, the way that past becomes present becomes future. Perhaps most of all, I love the focus on anticipation—on watching and waiting.

We live in a society that is committed to and skilled at instant gratification. I no longer have to wait until I get to my house, never mind a library or a store, to make a purchase or look up a definition or play a game or watch a movie. I can contact people the moment I think of them and will likely receive a response almost as quickly. Photos no longer requiring developing; directions no longer require advance planning, and I can order a pizza on the bus without even making a phone call.

Most of the time, I consider all of this to be an improvement over what came before but I do think that such instantaneousness comes at the possible cost of our pace, our patience, our focus. We have to be deliberate about slowing down, about waiting, and about paying attention to what is going on around us and within us. Advent offers us an opportunity, in the midst of what is perhaps the most frenetic time of year, to practice watching and waiting.

This year, I invite you to observe Advent with your families. Take time each evening or each morning with Advent candles and/or an Advent calendar. Make it about more than counting down to Christmas. Make it about noticing God’s work in the world—noticing the peace makers and justice seekers, the moments of beauty and joy. Make it about remembering God’s promise that love is stronger than hate; joy is stronger than sadness; life is stronger than death.

If you would like a simple set of prayers and discussion starters to use in your home, you can download them here.



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