We started Advent last night around here. We don’t have a strong Advent tradition in our family. Some years we light candles, we’ve done a Jesse Tree, we have done nothing… This year we found a sweet devotional online and plan to use it as many evenings as we are together until Christmas.
Yesterday we read a few of the prophecies about Christs coming and discussed waiting. What are we waiting for? What is hard about waiting? How does God ask us to wait?
There is something special about having a candle lit while we chat (and eat crunchy apples and slurp potato soup because no one could wait until afterwards – just keepin’ it real). Later, Haven prayed for the half-eaten meal and for the things we shared and blew out the candle.
I think we are all thinking about this idea of waiting today. For me it’s about waiting hopefully, rather than waiting in apathetic resignation. It’s about saying to myself, Jesus is coming back – get ready, it’s real, He’s real, He has a plan. It’s about building into my skeptical, melancholy heart a sense of joyful anticipation for the supernatural intersecting our dreary world. It’s about lifting my nose off the grindstone (laundry, cooking, cleaning, litter-box duty, Christmas gift list budgeting, school planning) and making space in my mind for expectation and awe.
In a few weeks we’ll all be sitting around the tree, wrapping paper flying, new electronic devices buzzing, packing peanuts and evergreen needles clogging up the vacuum. I love those moments too, but they are always sweeter when tempered by reality – God’s Son has come and will come again.
Any great Advent traditions out there? I’m all ears. I want this first Christmas in Champaign to be the richest yet.