A year on, but the truth remains…
Advent: a time of joyful waiting, of Holy longing.
So far, this season of Advent has brought into sharp focus those for whom the waiting is not joyful…
…for those waiting for the bombs to drop
…for those waiting to fly over combat zones
…for those waiting for asylum
…for those waiting for a border to open
…for those waiting for their next fix
…for those waiting for to be evicted
…for those waiting to be made redundant
…for those waiting to die
…for those waiting to hear from an estranged child
…for those waiting for a spouse to come home
…for those waiting, waiting.
Or for the longing that seems far from Holy…
…for those longing for someone to love
…for those longing to be loved
…for those longing for a lover’s touch
…for those longing to be a priority
…for those longing for the grief to pass
…for those longing with such longing.
Advent is full of waiting and longing. And it’s the longing that I find painful, I always find Hope such a cruel virtue.
Whatever we are waiting for (and it doesn’t matter if it is good or bad), hope leaves the door open ajar when sometimes it would be easier if it slammed shut. Never to be opened again.
But hope springs eternal, and particularly in Advent.
For in Advent we await the coming of the only One that can make sense of it all…
…The One who calls us to rest when the waiting wearies us
…The One who invites us to lean on when hope seems impossible
…The One who makes all longing Holy
…The One for whom we all long, all the days of our lives.
…The One who loves us.
But we’re not there yet. And I know there is always hope, it’s just sometimes hard to find it joyful. And as for the longing!
Even when we have seen the light, heard the ancient promise and claimed it as our own.
O God, come to our aid,
O Lord make haste to help us.