Advent is about waiting. It literally means the coming arrival of something important. And in Advent we are anticipating the birth of Jesus Christ.
But part of looking forward to something must mean that we have to wait for it.
As I was driving through my town yesterday, I was reflecting on the fact that we don’t really do much waiting during our modern day Advent. Christmas lights get switched on at the end of November, shops sell Christmas branded food stuffs even from October (often with use by dates that are before Christmas), and the office Christmas parties and the Christmas concerts begin at the start of December so as to fit everything in before Christmas.
So by the time we reach Christmas Day we can be tired of hearing Carols and we’ve already eaten numerous mince pies. Instead of anticipating and waiting for Christmas, we have brought Christmas forward so we can experience it here, right now and we don’t have to wait.
But there’s something important about waiting and anticipating that we can miss out on.
When we wait, we focus on the thing we are waiting for. When we look forward to something our excitement builds and the arrival is both joyful and enjoyable.
And the waiting time of advent also allows us to be aware of our weariness, our poverty and our desolation – the very aspects of our lives that Jesus came to deal with. When we don’t take time to wait, to reflect and to recognise our own state, then we don’t allow Jesus to touch and to heal where we so need it. We bumble along with that ‘I’m fine!’ response to the ‘how are you?’ question, when actually underneath, we’re anything but. The verse on my art journal page captures this perfectly. In advent, we wait for heaven’s mystic gate to open, to allow Jesus to touch us and renew us again.
So, in all the busy-ness of our preparations for Christmas, I invite you to join me in Waiting. Waiting, anticipating, reflecting, and being real. Being real about the human state for which God provided the solution in Jesus. And looking forward to the deep joy that a relationship with Him can bring.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
The Arty Stuff
This page is from a new art journal I’ve recently started which is an altered book (more about that in the new year).
You can see below how this page started out. It’s a book of fairy tales.
After an application of white gesso, I printed with acrylics. I used the veins of some sycamore leaves and some bubble wrap to provide texture. While it was still wet I sprinkled some pearlescent fine glitter.
The main picture was painted with acrylics and details picked out with black and gold sharpies. I love the way the text and leaf prints show through in some places.
The words were written on watercolour paper with fine liner and edged with a gold sharpie before being glued on.
I’m joining in with Paint Party Friday on this one so go and take a look at what lots of other fab artists have been up to this week.