For Advent, in the congregation where I am the pastor, we have distributed a list of words, one for each day between December 1 and Christmas, and have encouraged those who are interested to take and send me a picture that expresses something of what that word means. In addition to whatever picture I might take, my plan/hope is to write a short reflection on that word. So, here goes.
It is one thing to watch for something specific.
Something you know or, at least, will know when you see it.
A shooting star.
The friend you are watching for in the station.
The street sign indicating where you are to turn.
But, Advent is not about that kind of watching.
Advent is about watching for that which is often not known or not easily recognized.
Advent is about waiting for God.
A God who, more often than not, comes in the unexpected moments.
A God who comes in the guise of the stranger.
A God who walks unnoticed among.
A God who comes as a kind word in the midst of the harshness of the day.
A God who comes as the headline which leaves us in tears.
A God who brushes up against our lives leaving behind a reminder that we are called to something more.
That is what Advent is about.
And, that kind of watching is hard.