As we light the candle at the table’s center, we describe Advent to our girls as “coming,” as in not here yet.
And it’s the anticipation of childhood Christmases that I might remember more than Christmas itself. The waiting. The glowing Dickens village surrounded by sparkling snow, the brown reindeer set to grazing on the carpet, the unwrapping of our favorite salt dough ornaments each year.
If I’m not aware, I find myself trying to will myself to feel the right things as I do all the right Christmastime things. But, in the usual paradox, wonder and peace and grateful joy show up most when I release my grip.
That’s when I notice the candle flickering that is hint of the Light that has come. That’s when I see books spread across laps and the sparkles of recognition dancing with the age old story. That’s when I remember gifts are but a glance along the edges of the Greatest Gift.
Yesterday morning, I read words in my Bible written in high school handwriting. “Hope = Wait,” and it leads me to the words below from Psalm 38: “I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God.” (verse 15)
As I lay in bed this morning, I reflect on stories of a man of valor and 27 years in a prison and the kind of waiting that causes a person to bear the fruit of peace that unites and not bitterness that further divides, and it is miracle of hope.
I reflect on a world groaning deeply over thousands of years, God’s Answer and a weary spinning planet just longing to rejoice.
Joining this morning with Lisa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday and the prompt: REFLECT. (Five Minute Friday will be taking a December sabbatical, but I will be here writing through the month.) I encourage you to read (South African) Lisa-Jo’s exquisite reflection on Nelson Mandela this morning.