We have entered into Advent, the time marked off in the Christian calendar when we pay attention to the miracle of the incarnation. Advent comes from the Latin adventus, which means coming or visit. Advent means that God has come to us in the person of Jesus. And that is not all, for the first advent anticipates the second advent to come. Jesus has come and is coming. If hope has a history, it also has a future.

But let us not move too fast. Before the coming there is the waiting.

Advent is this season in the year when we realize the importance of waiting, watching, and paying attention to what God is doing. Waiting is inherent to the Christian story, just as it is deeply at the core of human experience. The point is to learn how to do it well.

The point is to learn to wait with hope. Advent is this blessed realization that although we deeply depend on how this story turns out, we are not in control of it. But that is more than OK with us, for this is God’s story to tell and to complete.