Waiting is not something I’m good at. I look for the shorter line, the faster lane and shop in the early hours before the crowds arrive.
Even before the shutdown I put my grocery order in online and picked them up at the store without leaving my car.
2020 has been a year of waiting.
We’ve waited for the stores to get more toilet paper and many of the basics we’ve been accustomed to having.
We’ve waited for stores to reopen and then in lines to get in with the limited occupancy.
We’re still waiting for answers and only finding more uncertainty.
When the reopening of school was delayed in the spring it was for two weeks, then possibly longer and then canceled until fall. Even at the start of August when, and how, school would resume remained uncertain.
Few of us are good at the waiting game but combine that with uncertainty and it wears on you.
I’ve always looked forward to the Advent season. I enjoyed the planning of it, choosing the music, scripture and readings to fit the weekly theme.
This year, it feels more welcome because it is one of the few things this is certain. It can’t be cancelled. Yes, it won’t look the same. Some churches aren’t meeting in person and many aren’t comfortable attending in person. But Advent is here. It will not be postponed or cancelled.
While I’m not planning worship services anymore I still think about a focus I want to have for Advent. This year these words from a classic Christmas carol came to mind:
A weary world rejoices
Waiting makes us weary. Uncertainty makes us anxious which is often demonstrated in irritation or anger. Our coping skills have been limited so we put on the COVID 15 or we emotionally shut down.
We are literally weary. Yet it is time to rejoice.
Oh, my soul needs to rejoice. It needs to sing loud, joyful songs. It needs to swell with emotion as the music builds.
I’m looking at our Christmas tree dressed in red and white bulbs and sprinkled with lights that change colors. There’s a star on top and that one symbol brings a quiet celebration within. The star that beamed in the heavens that night. It lit up the sky for the shepherds. It guided the scholars. Slicing through the dark night it brought rejoicing.
Let your weary soul rejoice ‘for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn‘.