Greetings from Pastor Leah
Dear PACC members and friends,
Although Christmas decorations have been on sale since Halloween, in the church we see this festive season a little differently. We call this time Advent, from a Latin word meaning “coming,” and during it we celebrate not the coming of Jesus into the world, but the waiting for him to arrive.
Frederick Buechner’s words from Whistling in the Dark capture it well: In the silence of a midwinter dusk there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen… You are aware of the beating of your heart…. The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment…before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.
What an odd idea, when you think about it – to celebrate not the thing itself, but the waiting for it!
Celebrating Advent as a season of waiting that comes before Christmas does not mean you need to RSVP no for Christmas parties occurring before Dec. 25, or keep the baby Jesus out of your manger, or even, as some of my friends do, abstain from listening to Christmas carols. (Don’t worry, they are church nerds who have found plenty of Advent hymns to get them in the spirit of the season!)
It does mean learning to celebrate the seasons in our lives when we are waiting, when we are not yet where we long and hope to be. It means that even as we wait for God to break into our lives in new and fresh ways, we trust that God is already with us – alongside us in that deep midwinter silence.
Where in your life are you waiting for something – longing for something? Is the “not yet” of waiting painful or uncomfortable? Is it making you feel anxious or just plain impatient? I invite you in this Advent season to let God transform your waiting into an experience of hope, love, joy – and ultimately, peace. May we each come to trust the God made known to us in the waiting!