Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Advent is about anticipation and waiting. Already I find myself anticipating and Advent is still a few days away. Tonight I found myself thinking about and looking forward to the Christmas Eve Communion services. Worship in that holy moment is such a powerful experience. As I go into every Advent season, I always do so with the intention of holding off as long as possible with the Christmas music. I do not want to sing or hear songs like "O Come, All Ye Faithful," or "Joy to the World" until the Christmas Eve worship begins. Over the years I have had more than one person in congregations get upset with me as I delayed introducing Christmas music into Advent worship as a way of trying to help others experience the anticipation and waiting.
What I have discovered over the years is that most folks are not interested in either the anticipation or the waiting. It seems to go along with our instant gratification culture. We tend to get what we want when we want it. It is not just our food that we want fast; we want everything yesterday. Such a mindset really undermines what Advent is trying to accomplish as it calls us to anticipate and to wait.
So, I will do as I always do during Advent. I will try to help folks experience the essence of Advent worship. I will turn off the radio when it is an all day menu of Christmas music in mid December. I will look forward to the celebration and try not to peek in before everything is ready. I will spend more time sitting and waiting in prayer time instead of talking and hurrying on to other things. I will try to find a different pace and pray that it helps prepare my heart to celebrate the wonderful reality that a Savior has been born to save you, me, and all of us.