18 December 2017
It may be the festive season, but the focus of this time of year tends to be Christmas Day, whether you’re celebrating the religious aspect or not.
December 25th is the day you wait for – whether you’re a hardened atheist looking forward to receiving gifts or having a day off work, or if you’re devout and keen to celebrate the birth of Jesus by attending Mass on Christmas morning, the seconds tick by at the same pace as you wait for the day to dawn.
For many of us, and particularly in a fiercely modern city like London, we’re almost unaccustomed to having to wait for things (okay, perhaps travelling’s an exception here too), as we’re either physically close to things (shops and cinemas bringing us items for digesting and distracting), or the always-on ever-present phone lines and internet mean that you can order food directly to your door or a film straight to your TV or phone. But time’s one of those pesky universal constants, and we each move toward Christmas Day at the same pace – for all of us, it begins as the clock hands roll past midnight on the twenty-fifth day of December, and no one of us will arrive there any sooner than anyone else.
And whilst there’s that sense that the main event is tantalisingly close and yet we have to wait for it, perhaps the journey to Christmas Day is as important as the arrival; it’s a season, not just one day, and in the same way that we can use the days onwards of December 25th to reflect, perhaps we can also use the days of Advent to actively, and deliberately, wait, with a sense of our progression through time towards the key date.
We aren’t often called upon to wait for things these days, and whilst it’s often said that time waits for no one, at this time of year we’re all called upon to wait for God.