By Andrew Harris

The past couple years I’ve felt like the Advent season has passed me by. I frantically tried to hold together finals, church events, worship services, shopping and parties, and then it was Christmas Eve. And as we were singing “Silent Night” at midnight I finally felt the spirit of the season.

This season started off feeling decidedly similar. I have scrambled from task to task, hoping to hold everything together knowing that finally, on Christmas Eve, I could stop waiting for the season to begin and enjoy it. It wasn’t until this week that I realized this waiting is in fact the very essence of the Advent season. Waiting for the spirit is the spirit of the season.

In the waiting we realize — I realized — that all our doing, all of our tasks are of no consequence. Hope and Peace, Joy and Love are not gifts promised that we wait to open expectantly on Christmas morning. They are gifts that have already been freely given, gifts that can only be realized in the spirit of faithful and patient waiting.