It is that time again…it is Advent. This should be a period of waiting. But who really likes waiting anyway? As a kid, I loved to watch the Advent Wreath being lit in church…each candle meant we were one week closer to Christmas. It was exciting but felt like it took forever to happen. As an adult, we can easily get overwhelmed…there isn’t enough time and there are presents to buy and food to cook (or eat)…there are places to be and church programs to attend. But, isn’t Advent about waiting? So what are we waiting for? Do we really wait for anything any more? Isn’t waiting really a thing of the past? We can get food fast and groceries on every corner…we get mad if we have to wait 15 minutes at the bank or for someone to cook something fresh…and don’t get us started about having to wait in line to buy anything during Christmas… We don’t wait? So what is the deal with this Advent waiting anyway?
Advent is a time to remember to wait expectantly…to have some excitement about the wait (like kids waiting for Christmas). Waiting for Christ to come. Yet…he came, as a baby. So what are we waiting for again? I hear the words of Zechariah so loudly during this time. His words are captured in Luke 1:67-79. He is speaking of the things his son (John) will do as he grows. As he speaks, he reminds us of something exciting…something worth waiting for…something to watch and keep our eyes open for…he reminds us of the dawn breaking.
I don’t know about you, but I love to watch the dawn break. I run early in the morning and one of the best times is when it is so dark and then dawn breaks. It is as if God turns on a light switch – pronouncing “let there be light” each new day. It is a time of promise. It is just before the orange and red hues appear over the horizon. You know the sun is coming and a new day is here! The dawn breaking…the light coming…THAT is exciting and worth waiting for.
But we don’t see a dawn breaking, do we? We know darkness. We understand what it is to live in a dark world. When there are people who are killing kids in schools, riots that trample people and destroy property as a way to make a point, selling of young people into sex slavery, abuse of the elderly…when there are hurricanes that destroy entire countries and wildfires that sweep across a state…we know dark. When church is not your “safe place” any more, we know dark. And yet, our scripture today says that darkness is not all there is, regardless of how dark it may seem, there is LIGHT.
Darkness is NOT all there is. There is promise and hope. There is a new dawn breaking. It can be found in Christ at work in us, through us, and around us. Christ is at work…there is THE light…the dawn is here. Where might you find that dawn? It can be found in those that love their neighbor…even when the neighbor is unlovable. The light can be found in feeding the hungry, sheltering those who are without, giving unexpectedly and without recognition…the light can be found in those who stand and show what it really means to love God and to love others, no matter the cost. Light can be seen in those who find take the time to listen…to really see people…and to give of their talents for others. To give is to see light. To love is to be the light. There is a new dawn breaking and it is found in those that love God. Is the dawn breaking through and in you? It is worth looking for…and worth the wait. God created…and it is good.