December 6, 2018


Dear Friends:

As this year’s holiday season enters full swing, I have been reflecting on waiting. The days leading up to Christmas are full of waiting. Waiting in line to see Santa Claus. Waiting in line to pay for holiday purchases. Waiting to greet the boss at the company Christmas party. Waiting to open all the presents under the tree. If there were a banner we could spread over these cozy (infuriating?) yuletide scenes, we could think of few better than “Hurry up and wait.”

The scenes surrounding the Christmas story, too, are full of waiting. Elizabeth and Zechariah waiting a lifetime for a child. The prophet Simeon, who was “eagerly waiting for the savior to come.” Anna, who spent her every waking moment in the temple fasting and praying and waiting expectantly for the birth of God’s son. Taken together, we get the sense that all of creation, heaven and earth, are waiting with bated breath for the birth of this child Jesus.

While these stories are filled with waiting, the waiting we see is buzzing with activity; it could hardly be confused with passively waiting for the line to inch forward and the seconds to count down. It isn’t even patient. It is nearer to so-close-you-can-taste-it anticipation—a hunger that can only be satisfied by God himself. The waiting of Scripture is eager, hopeful, expectant.

So, what are you waiting for? What are you hoping for this Christmas? What are you expecting Jesus to do in your life and this world when he comes once again? What are you hoping our Savior and King will bring with him as he arrives in a stinky stable stall? When Jesus arrives (as the old song goes) “with healing in his wings,” where are you hoping his healing hands might touch first?

Grace, peace, and every advent blessing,