Dear Hope Family,
In the introduction to his collection of Advent and Christmas poems, Waiting on the Word, Malcolm Guite writes, “Advent is a paradoxical season: a season of waiting and anticipation in which the waiting itself is strangely rich and fulfilling, a season that looks back at the people who waited in darkness for the coming light of Christ and yet forward to a fuller light still to come and illuminate our darkness.” Guite captures the season of Advent so well. We remember the anticipation of those waiting for Christ’s first coming, while we ourselves wait in anticipation of his second coming. There is much to remember and celebrate in the Advent season!
Yet, Guite also uses two words that have become all too familiar to us – waiting and darkness. We wait for the end of a pandemic, for the healing of a family member or even our own, for the end of brokenness and sin. We often wait in the darkness of the unknown. When will the waiting end? If you’re like me, you’ve learned to cope with the waiting and darkness. I carve out routines and rhythms, seeking the comfort of the known and predictable. I go through the motions, knowing and trusting that God is at work, but often missing just how extraordinary is his work both in my life and in the world.
I invite you to join us this Sunday as we continue our Advent series and meet a couple who were accustomed to waiting and darkness – Zechariah and Elizabeth. For years they had waited for a child, yet none came. And now, they’re old enough that a child no longer seems like a physical possibility. Yet right in the middle of their waiting and darkness, what we might call their routine longing, comes a divine announcement. They will have a child, John. And this child will have his own announcement – that a light is coming. The sun is rising.
That Light did come. And it is still shining. As Guite writes, it will shine fuller still. And so, we wait. But we do not have to wait in darkness. Christ has entered into our waiting, our routing longing, and he is at work. May your Advent season be filled with bright hope in your waiting.