“Come thou long expected Jesus...”
Advent is a season of expectation and the definition of expectation is “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.” And so in expectation we must wait. As the prophets waited. For centuries. And the Magi waited. For years. And Mary waited. For months.
But we are not a waiting people. We are a rushing people.
Here in the 21st century, we bow to the god of instant gratification. We are constantly disrupted by segmented ideas at hyper speed. They are delivered to our inboxes, placed in our newsfeeds, enabled by Instagram and propagated by every preferential banner ad.
As our technology has sped, so have our heart rates. Our thoughts, once paced by stories spoken, the rhythm of our steps, the text on a page, are rushed by an onslaught of information with which none can keep pace. The Internet and other technologies allow us to escape the inner gaze while painfully slow moments — peeling carrots, tending to a sick child, waiting for a bus — necessitate reflection.
“A common symptom of modern life is that there is no time for letting the impressions of the soul to sink in.” - Thomas Moore, Care for the Soul.
In the absence of technology, in the presence of nature and people, the blessedly mundane, we find a different kind of story. One that has been slowly unfolding for millennia.
It is the story of the coming King.
Here in the holy pause of Advent, may we join together and fervently pray: