Rediscovering the Wonder

     Most years, there are things we have to imagine about another time and situation. There was a time when you couldn’t gather together as a community. There was a time when you could get an illness that meant you had to stay away from everyone else. There was a time when miraculous recoveries meant being restored to life and community. There was a time when you couldn’t just go and get everything at the grocery store.

     There have been several times in the past twenty months that I’ve caught myself stopping just before saying the words “Just imagine, there was a time…” because honestly, we don’t have to imagine anymore. We can just remember or look around even now. We don’t need to expand upon the value of gathering as a community because we know what it’s like not to be able to do so.

     The most recent of the times that didn’t have to be imagined happened in a class a few weeks ago. In a lesson on Martin Luther, I didn’t have to explain his work during his time in hiding—being stuck in a room for several months. All I had to say was, “You know what that’s like,” and immediately all of the students nodded.

     We seem to be emerging from this era, though we’re not completely through it yet. We’re also entering the season in the church year in which I think we can start to imagine again.

     Advent is a season that looks to the future—to Christ’s arrival at Christmas and his return at the end of time. It is a season in which so much of that hope of what is to come has us watching and waiting in anticipation of those promises.

     Advent is a season of rediscovering the wonder.

     May we rediscover that for ourselves this year. As the first snows fall and the radio stations literally change their tunes, may we find our own restoration in watching and joining in through the days. As the candles are lit around the Advent wreath and the decorations begin to adorn houses and windows, may we catch the excitement of anticipation. As the holiday plans are made and meals shared, may we wonder at the miracle of being present in the days we live and the community we share now even as we anticipate the not yet.

     May this be a season of joyous blessings as we watch and wait for the arrival of Christ. May this be a season of rediscovering the wonder of the world and the hope of all that is to come.

     Happy Advent and Merry Christmas.