Today is Advent Sunday.
This morning the first candle was lit, the waiting begins.
Today I spoke about the art of waiting. Waiting without guilt holding us back. Waiting without carry the excess baggage of grudges and resentments. Waiting in expectation that something wonderful will happen. Waiting with the trust the Patriarch and Matriarchs displayed. Waiting in faith even when God seems to be promising the impossible. Waiting in hope even when God appears to be far away. Waiting even when the waiting is hard and long.
This afternoon and early evening I was waiting again, waiting with a family, waiting for a last breathe to be taken, waiting for grief to flow, waiting for the realisation of hope for one soul. As we waited we trusted in God, trusted God would indeed keep the promises made. As we waited we told stories, for stories have always sustained and strenghted people during times of waiting.
Waiting is often one of the recurring themes of Advent, the wait to celebrate Christ’s first coming, the wait for his coming again. However Advent waiting happens each and every day. In homes and hospitals, at bedsides and in waiting rooms. There are those who get their knickers in a bit of a twist about the colour of Advent candles. Yet it matters not what colour the candles are it is the flames that speak of the Light of Christ, the hope of generations, the promise of God. It is the flame not the candle that declares that the wait will not be in vain.
We live and we wait. It is how we wait that marks us out as people of God, people of faith, people of trust, people of hope.