Waiting… Waiting is something many of us have a very hard time doing — especially around the holidays. For children it is the waiting to be out of school and to finally get to open those presents under the tree. For the rest of us, there is shopping to be done, presents to wrap, performances to attend and plans to be made. As the cold has crept in over the Kenai Peninsula and the sun’s rays increasingly dip low below the horizon, it is very easy even to wait and long for a new season to arrive. It seems like in life we can often be so focused on waiting.
Even amidst the clamor of holiday preparations we can see that Christmas is also about waiting. Western Christian churches have celebrated this time of “Advent” or “expectant waiting” as they prepared to rejoice in remembering Christ’s birth. Each Sunday before Christmas a different theme of hope, peace, joy and love would be the focus as these themes point to the arrival of God on earth. These promised themes were fulfilled when Christ was born. In the Bible the prophet Isaiah wrote about God coming to earth in human form to be a light for people: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2) Creation would no longer need to wait as it could celebrate that God had come to earth to bring humanity back in relationship with him. Jesus came also to fulfill the longings of our world to bring wholeness. Isaiah 9:6 declares his role: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” With all the divisions in our lives, family, country and world, isn’t it great to know that God has come near and the wait to be in a relationship with God is over? Yes, the wait is over! Jesus Christ brought light into a dark and hurting world. Sometimes at Christmastime it is so easy to get lost in all the busyness and preparations of focusing on the day. As the wait and countdown to Christmas comes closer, we can be people who receive Christ’s light and share it with others. Jesus brought the world the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love. The waiting is over, open that present of God’s love and relationship in your life.
Pastor Frank Alioto serves as the Spiritual Care Coordinator at Central Peninsula Hospital and as a Chaplain with Central Emergency Services.