“O that you would tear open the heavens and come down….” Isaiah 64:1a
This Sunday begins our Advent season and our venture into yet another period of waiting. It seems like that is all we do these days: wait for the election to come, then to be resolved; wait for our COVID-19 test results, or for the symptoms of a loved one to pass; wait for society to return to normal, and especially to be with our loved ones in the ways that bring us such joy and comfort.
It’s an odd thing that the secular world will soon explode with Christmas decorations and music and festivities while we Christians go into waiting. (And just to be clear, it’s not because we’re not any fun.)
Just as I greatly anticipate that day when I can confidently hug my sister and all of her kids; or gather with a group of friends around an intimate dining table; or can pack full the pews of our sanctuary and shake every hand at the end of the service, so too should our longing be for the day when God will come and be so fully, tangibly present to us to make God’s overwhelming love known. The season of Advent reminds us of our need for God-made-flesh, as we notice and name the weariness and wounds of our world, so desperate for the redemption and salvation of our Messiah.
I know that we are tired of waiting. But even here, as we attune our hearts in hope for Christ’s coming; as we sing “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” we make room to receive the transforming blessings of peace and joy that will surely accompany the advent of God-with-us.