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The Art of Waiting and Watching


Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah

Advent is undeniably my favorite season of the Church year. Typically I am not one to like to wait. I don’t like to wait in lines to ride the Millenium Force at Cedar Point. I don’t like to wait in line at the grocery store so I use the “do it yourself” checkout. I am an ENTJ on the Myers -Briggs which they call, “Expeditor.” Does that give you any clue to my personality? When I make a plan I want to run with it. NOW. Not later. NOW! Unfortunately I have no power over others in my life who want to mosey through everyday tasks. So I have learned over 44 years of life on this planet to be more patient. Patient with myself (right now I am still recovery from yet another back injury) and patient with others who may not see the urgency of things the way that I do. I have been called, “slavedriver,” “taskmaster,” and “control-freak.” I guess in many ways I am, but when you want a job to get done then I’m your gal!

So it seems rather strange that I would say that Advent is my favorite liturgical season, doesn’t it? On the one hand perhaps not: John the Baptist shouted in the wilderness, “Prepare Ye the Way of the LORD! Make his paths straight! Hurry up time’s a wastin’! ” ( I like that guy, bet he was an ENTJ as well, even though he had NO fashion sense whatsoever.) But on the other hand, Advent is a time of solemn waiting and watching. A time to slow down and take a look around for the Messiah, the Christ. I love the mid-week Advent services where we gather rather informally and sing songs of hope and anticipation. Slowly the sanctuary becomes more and more decked out for that climactic moment of Christmas. Our Advent practice is to sit quietly during worship, slow down from the busy-ness of the day, breathe, reflect, breathe some more. It is so peaceful in a whirlwind of consumer, commercialized, overdone, over-bedazzled, ever-elongated time before Christmas.

So even as we prepare the way of the Lord and open our hearts to receive him in ever new and fresh ways, as we await his second coming, we manage to slow down to observe a bit of quiet. We bask in his light and love and mercy. We remember what it’s really all about: Jesus.

Have a blessed first week of Advent!


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