One of the wonderful things about sharing life with pups is their unconditional love and acceptance of us humans. In my house, whether I have been gone for five minutes or for a week, when I return home, my pups are standing at the door eagerly anticipating my return. I can look through the window next to the door and see a nose pressed to the glass. I see eyes scanning the view, a tail wagging and at times, two to four legs jumping excitedly up and down. I imagine that much of the time of my absence, my beloved pup is waiting and watching, eagerly awaiting my return.
Waiting and watching: those are the words that describe this first season of the church year, Advent. Advent, a noun, is used to “introduce something new” or “the arrival of something that has been awaited.” In Advent, we await the birth of the Christ child: the coming of God to dwell among us. We watch with eager anticipation for the return of Immanuel, that is God with us. I think of the pups so excited, so joyful, so filled with excitement and it is just me that they await. How much more so as we await the coming of the Divine.
This season of Advent, we wait and watch. We look for signs, for times and places where, however dimly, we glimpse the presence of the Divine. Sometimes that glimpse is in the familiar, the greening of our homes and our church. Sometimes that glimpse is in seeing anew, an older child holding their own child as a stocking is hung, or making the age-old family cookies. Sometimes that glimpse is brand new, the dawning of the sun rising on a new day.
In Advent, we wait and watch. We look for what we already know, that God is with us. We seek places where we can see and feel deep in our bones that God so loves the world and you and me and everything in this world, that God gave his only begotten Son, that we might have life and life everlasting. No wonder we wait and watch with such eager anticipation, for it is our God for who we are awaiting and watching.
May these next days and weeks of this Holy Season of Advent be filled with joyous anticipation knowing our God seeks to dwell among us and will be born anew within us.
The Rev. Sarah Nelson