Advent is the first season of the new year for those of us who are followers of Jesus the Christ. It marks the beginning of another opportunity to allow even the way we order our lives and our time to be oriented around the life of the Godhead. In the patterns of these seasons we are reminded to live in the flow of the life of the Trinity, to live and function according to God’s story, remembering that God is the central character and we are supporting participants.
So we begin this new year with God by celebrating Advent – a season marked by waiting. What a stark contrast to our world’s celebration of the new year, where we decide what we are going to do, how resolved we are to make this new year the best it can possibly be. Instead, in Advent, we wait for God to act. We wait because this is God’s story and we are followers.
But waiting in Advent is different than normal waiting, because it is also accompanied with a great sense of anticipation. We wait and we anticipate, because we believe that the Central Character of this Grand Story is not distant, or aloof, but active and moving, always drawing us into the flow of God’s Love. We wait with anticipation, knowing that since God has already acted in the past by bringing a small baby into the world, that God will continue to be With Us. More unexpected actions of love and grace are just on the horizon, waiting to be birthed in us and in our world by the One who is love.
And so we wait. We wait with anticipation. And we discover that our waiting is filled with Hope.
“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79