Thanksgiving is now past and we turn our focus toward Christmas. In between now and then, in the Church we move through a sacred time called Advent. In the business of our holiday preparation, though, Advent can be relegated to a few moments around the Advent wreath, which in turn can become just another adornment of the holiday season.
If we take just a moment, though, we can see Advent for a reminder to sanctify time. The season’s message focuses on our experiences of preparation and waiting: like the time between discovering one is with child and the advent (coming) of that child at birth; the expectancy and hope that fills a high school student who waits eagerly for advent of a letter of acceptance at college or university; or even the repeated looking out the window when we hear a car park when expecting the advent of a loved one on a journey home.
In our culture of cell phones, microwaves and e-mails, patience is a virtue very much on the decline. How good are you at waiting? While many might give lip service to patience as being a virtue, too often people act as if those who wait patiently are misguided or lazy or uncommitted. Who wants to wait? Wouldn’t we rather have fast food, quick service, rapid turn-around and instant results? Don’t we admire the people who just get out there and get the job done - now?