It’s Advent.  And so we wait.  But what is it we wait for? 

I am often struck by the incredible unreality of Christmas.  We wait for the birth of a child to an unmarried teenage mother.  Why are we not scandalised by that?  God didn’t choose a university graduate in a secure marriage, he chose a girl, an ordinary girl who was engaged to an older man.  Why is it that if we can accept that we are so down on teenage pregnancy?  I would have to say that it’s not a great life choice and circumstances were different 2,000 years ago, but why the moral outrage?

And then Jesus became a refugee, but we are obsessed by border controls.

Do we wait for the Christmas card image of a child in a cosy manger lit by soft candle light?  Why do we always skip past the pain and blood of his birth?  Whendo we think about a scared young woman and her equally scared husband-to-be?

What is it you wait for this Christmas?

5 thoughts on “Waiting”


    Look, God, look
    in the vastness of your dark
    hear this song
    in the chorus of the world
    where I sing
    for the glory of your coming
    held by love
    as the music pours from me
    a flame within
    as the night falls around me
    hear my prayer
    and come through the darkness
    hold me waiting
    as you wait to be born.

    C.M.M. 11/05
    I posted this last year on blethers: you’ll find this year’s offering at frankenstina
    I am always struck by the mystery of Advent and the feeling of being out here on the edge of the darkness, waiting. Just waiting.

  2. What is it I wait for this Christmas? Who has time to wait?! There is so much to do…..

    Seriously, Christmas for me is a time of bustling excitement. A time of joy and reveling in excesses not normally permitted during the course of the year. It is also a time of renewed hope, love and forgiveness. Christmas to me is more an idea, a concept, a renewal of life’s forces, a time of rejoicing. Jesus, Mary and Joseph are more symbols to me than actual people, the old ways giving birth to the new, that is why I don’t spend much thought on the fear, pain, etc. But concentrate on what the birth of Christ means to us now.

    Incidentally, I think that is part of why many people get so depressed around the holidays, there is an expectation of newness and joy that doesn’t happen for many people, and they get low because of it.

    At any rate, I wish you a wonderful Advent full of new ideas and concepts and a lovely holiday season, complete with a shiny New Year – to mess up, or not!

  3. One more thought about Advent, and I will quit, promise.
    I re-read the previous poem, and had thought about the weather and climate in Scotland, and how it may have helped form regional religious beliefs.

    Advent ends roughly around winter solstice, the longest and darkest night of the year. Is there some symbolism to that, the saying that the birth of Christ brings light to the world?

    By contrast, I live in a place that averages 355 days of sun a year. Even the shortest winter day is generally sunny. Is that why I have the outlook I do? I wonder………. in wonder………

  4. It’s dark, cold, windy and raining here… and you wonder why us Scots drink!!!

    I like your thought of concentrating on what Christ’s birth means to us now Rose. I was preaching this morning in Edinburgh and that was kind of my theme. I always find the historical context fascinating. The Jews were conquered and militant. The Romans were brutal. The church was oppressive. Freedom was under serious pressure. And that was 2,000 years ago.

    What does the birth of a child say in that context and in ours?

    For me it says that life is precious, that hope is eternal, that people can change.

  5. Can people change? What I am hearing in your drawing comparisons between Jesus’ time and ours is that not much has changed, just the names of the players involved.

    Perhaps the struggle is eternal, as well as hope. My hope is that as the years pass we can truly evolve and find a way to be one world, with love, compassion and understanding for each other. I don’t see how this planet will survive otherwise.

    I don’t know if people can change, I know I haven’t changed much over time, at my core, but my ability to adapt and accept has changed.

    BTW I don’t wonder why Scots drink!

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