I always get kind of knocked out about this season of Advent. I think it might just be the least American holiday ever. Instead of Prime Shipping, we get waiting. Instead of instant gratification, we get prophecy. Instead of full scorecards, we get empty mangers.
And yet, I know at least for my own soul and my own spiritual discipline, a season of waiting makes a tremendous amount of sense. I know that my own mind wants to be two or three steps down the road, when I would do so so much better to stay right where I am.
A few years ago a friend of mine took me on a mountain biking trip. I love biking, and even enjoy mountain biking from time to time, but this was some tough sledding! It was really hard to get through the rocks and roots and technical sections of trail. So my eyes had to be just an inch or two off the front wheel of my bike. If I was trying to read the trail too far ahead, there was simply no way I was going to be able to navigate what what right in front of me.
That’s kind of what Advent is like for me. In our worship spaces and in the daily lectionary readings, I am reminded to keep my eyes right there, right where Jesus is about to show up. Waiting seems so counter cultural to us right now, but I think it serves a vitally important function in our faith.