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"I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning." Psalm 130.6

Waiting for enough light to get outside can be tedious at this time of year. Not for nothing does Advent take us up to the darkness moment of the annual cycle (in the northern hemisphere). That is why we celebrate the birth of Jesus when we do. Nobody knows the date of his birth but we are aware of his impact and so it was deemed fitting that his birth should be celebrated at the turn of the season, where the days begin to stretch bringing hope through the coldest stretch of winter. What are you waiting for, hoping for?

Hold on to that longing for a moment. Society wants us all to rush ahead, whether to Christmas, a new vaccine so we can get out more, or just to satisfy our craving for the latest fad. But to "take the waiting out of wanting" just because we can is to miss the opportunity to reflect on our wants. Are they wholesome? Do they reflect who we really are, or what we aspire to become? Are our deepest desires in line with what the Bible tells us about God's intentions - for us and for the world?

Spring is for planting, summer is for growing, autumn is for harvesting. Winter is the season for waiting and pruning and preparing. And while we are at it, let's spare a thought for those who genuinely struggle to wait - on account of being in pain, or danger, or under persecution. God is not impervious of their suffering, indeed he is alongside. And that is where he wants us to be too. So we do not wait alone. Nor do we wait as those without hope, because we know that the Lord is coming as surely as the dawn will break - sooner or later. So our prayer is both "Immanuel (God with us)" and "Come, Lord, Jesus...".

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