Is there anything more tedious than waiting for software to download? I'm installing Office 2013 on the new desktop (the old one - at over 5 years, ancient by PC standards - has finally given up the ghost), periodically checking the download screen, which insists "You can use Office now", while the little bar crawls across the bottom of the screen along with the message "We're wrapping things up - please stay online as we make some finishing touches".
We are a people who increasingly hate to wait. The line at the fast food place never moves quickly enough. The grocery check out is interminable (especially this time of year). The two seconds to open an app on our phones is two seconds too long.
The only time we seem willing to wait is on the night before Black Friday, when hundreds of people line up out in the cold for hours ahead of the opening time. Or worse yet, camp out overnight.
Advent is, at its core, a time of waiting. A time of anticipation.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God."
Luke 1:26 - 35
Mary didn't find out about her pregnancy at six weeks or two months along - she found out about it as the child was conceived in her. She and Joseph had a full nine months of waiting, of bearing up under the whispers, the innuendo, the outright condemnation that would have been heaped on Mary for becoming pregnant before marriage. Pregnant, as she insisted, with no action at all on her part.
Waiting to greet this baby, this child who was all man, and all God. Wondering what plan God had, to send His own Son to earth as a fragile, dependent baby.
Are you waiting for Christmas? Not waiting for the kids' pageant, the carolers, the special feast. But for the celebration of one of the most wondrous events in history: the coming of God into His creation.
Savor it. Yearn for it.
Wait for it.