Now that it’s Advent, I am officially getting excited about Christmas.  I’ve started to purchase the presents and my sparkly tree is standing proudly in my living room.  Don’t tell anyone, but there is also a pile of wrapping paper and ribbon hiding in the corner of another room.
Clearly, I am excited.

The thing is though, it’s not time for Christmas just yet, so I’ve got to wait to celebrate.  I’ve got to wait until I can open my presents, wait until I can have my family round for dinner and wait until the time I can stay up very, very late without feeling too guilty.
Unfortunately, waiting is something I’m not very good at.  I seem to expect everything, now!

But, maybe I am missing something.  Maybe there is something wonderful in not having it all immediately, in looking forward to the future and what is still to come- just like I take pleasure in all my preparations for and anticipation of the coming Christmas celebration.

Way back in history, God promised to send a saviour to his people who were struggling with life.  But, they had to wait – they waited a long time until it was time for Jesus to be born into the world.

I feel like them sometimes.  I struggle with all the illness, death, disasters and everything else going on in the world and my life. I want God to change it all and make it better.  Now!   The good news is that he has promised that he will and God always keeps his promises.  For my part, I just have to wait. Wait until it is time for Jesus to return to earth as king, when there will be a new world and all the things that distress me won’t be there any more.

To help me practice joyful waiting, I’ve made an advent wreath to steadily count down each of the weeks before Christmas Day when I finally get to light the white candle in celebration of Jesus’ birth.  Every time I see it, I remember to be patient because the joy and peace in the world that I am hoping for, will get here.  It will come.

Are you waiting patiently for something?   Perhaps you could make or place something in your home as a reminder to be patient.

Christina Brown, Families’ Missioner