Last week I wrote a newsletter article about our need for peace. Many people I know are struggling with hard things in our families, in our health, in our jobs, and generally in our lives. It feels like we have very little peace. In that article I pledged to pray for peace for each household connected to my congregation during Advent.
Today, I was reading God is in the Manger by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He talked about the restlessness that is required to celebrate Advent - the time of waiting. I hadn't thought about Advent in this way before. Perhaps we should take a cue from the children around us who anxiously await Christmas.
The question, "What are you waiting for?" is often spoken in aggravation to encourage someone to speed up their actions or decisions. But, for this season of Advent, perhaps we should ask ourselves, "What are we waiting for?" What do we restlessly anticipate and hope for this Advent Season? The coming of God into our lives through the celebration of the birth of a baby? The coming of God into our world amidst so much anger, hatred, violence, and distress? What are you waiting for in this season?
As I considered this reading, I realized that while I will continue to pray for peace in the lives of my friends and parishoners, I must also pray for restless anticipation of the coming of the Christ child.