Advent is here. And the world’s anxiety is almost overbearing right now. Cynicism. Materialism. Consumerism. Nationalism. They steal away from the hope that we are to be recognizing on this first Sunday of Advent. Yet, it’s important in this season to be patient with one another, to comfort one another, to remind each other that what we feel as anxiety can be reframed as hope, as an expectant longing. The world pines for its redemption, as do we, with groans and the labor pangs of a coming birth. We anticipate joy, but it feels distant.
We are midwives of another kingdom, of a world present, yet not here. Our world is an expectant mother. What it means to hope is that we take care of those in this world also longing for a better kingdom, and we prepare for its birth. What it means to hope is to take care of ourselves and our community as we prepare for the hard work of labor. Let us therefore be found faithful as we move closer to its arrival.
We are the pregnant mothers of a hidden kingdom, of a world present, and not yet here. I think part of the reason we have anxiety or even dread in the midst of it all is that we know there is pain and blood and tears in labor. Hope doesn’t save us from the reality of the pain of our presently lived lives and it doesn’t save us from the pain we know lies ahead. But our hope is rooted in the faith that it’s all not in vain. We breathe and then we push.
Welcome to the advent season.