Most people will tell you, I am not a very patient person. I am a planner – I like things to be prompt, and reliable – I don’t like surprises. And yet, Advent is my very favourite church season of the year. I love Christmas, of course – the actual arrival of baby Jesus, this long expected Saviour – the knowing that Jesus came down into the muck and the dirt of our lives, and began the story of redemption from that place.
But, however much I love Christmas, I love the buildup more.
Last weekend, I stopped by Central Union Church with my cousin to get my tree, a tiny tabletop which smells deliciously fresh, and is now siting atop my windowsill. Yesterday afternoon, I went to Target to get some twinkly lights for my tree, and hung them (somewhat haphazardly). I’ve been enjoying working in my office to Christmas carols playing in the background. I notice that people are more likely to look one another in the eye and wish each other a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”.
All of this builds the anticipation, and gives me time to prepare. My excitement builds and builds, as I chip away at the projects and work I have in the meantime.
Advent teaches me patience, but it also gifts me, over and over again, with great joy in the waiting. I am not waiting in a still way – I am actively engaged in preparation, actively in the world and working.
I hope your Advent gifts you with the same joy.