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While we wait

While we wait

While we wait

28 November 2021

Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus and his return at the Second Coming.

Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas. Advent means ‘coming’ in Latin and is a time of preparation and expectation – for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas and the second coming of Christ. There is a range of traditions around Advent, including Christmas wreaths, candles, prayers, and even fasting. Over the next four weeks, Amanda Hart will share her thoughts on the Advent season and how we can use this time to prepare for, and focus on, this special season of the year and the real meaning behind it.

by Amanda Hart

Waiting is a part of our everyday lives. Waiting at the doctor’s office for an appointment, waiting for a call centre operator to answer our call, waiting for the train, bus, tram or Uber to get to work, waiting for the next movie in a franchise to be released, waiting for restrictions to lift. We spend somuch of our time waiting, but the question is, what do we do with that time?

I’ve heard people say, “I’m the world’s worst procrastinator.” I’ve said it many times myself. What I actually mean, though, is, “I’m the world’s best procrastinator.” The number of times I’ve had weeks to write an assignment but find myself under pressure trying to get it finished on the day it’s due. Procrastination is not the best use of the time we spend waiting.

During this time of Advent, when we prepare our hearts in the lead-up to Christmas, I like to reflect on a story Jesus told to remind us to use our time waiting wisely.

BE PREPARED

In the Bible’s book of Matthew, chapter 25, verses 1-13, the story tells of 10 bridesmaids waiting for the bridegroom to come to the bride’s house. Upon his arrival, they would move in procession to his house, where the formal wedding ceremony would commence. It wasn’t unusual for it to be night-time before the bridegroom arrived, so the members of the party would carry lamps in the procession to light the way – anyone without a lamp was considered a wedding crasher.

Five of the bridesmaids spent their time waiting wisely – preparing for the coming of the bridegroom. They made sure they trimmed their lamps and had plenty of oil to keep them burning. The other five were not prepared – they had no oil for their lamps. Long story short, they missed out on the wedding banquet.

Advent is a reminder for us to wait actively instead of sitting on our hands procrastinating as we prepare to remember and celebrate the coming of Jesus. It’s an invitation to participate in the story by using our gifts and passions to glorify God and share his goodness and love with others, not just sit back and wait from a distance.

What can you do this week to play an active part during this season of waiting?

“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.”- Matthew chapter 25,  verse 13 New  Living Translation

Captain Amanda Hart is a Salvation Army officer in Victoria.

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