And so we wait . . . expectantly

My heart brims with longing, and fresh resolve to persevere in waiting, for therein lies our Hope.

 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.’  Rom. 8:24-25 (NIV)

I do not enjoy waiting. I much prefer to plan, to execute, to check off my to do’s. But so often, I am called… to wait. And during this pandemic, repeatedly the pressing task has been… to wait.

Waiting… to hear what Dr. Henry will announce during her daily briefing to assess the subsequent impact on our sites.

Waiting … to see whether travel will be allowed or discouraged before confirming family visits.

Waiting … to receive test results to determine whether or not my child with the mild cough is cleared to return to school.

Advent is a season of expectant waiting, and for many of us, is synonymous with traditions that help tune our heart during the four weeks leading up to the celebration of Christ’s birth.

This year, I was struck by Merriam Webster’s second definition for advent: “a: the coming of Christ at the Incarnation,” and “b: second coming”. Journeying through advent during a pandemic, I have found myself longing for the day when there will be no more sickness, no more death, no more requisite social distancing. And I am reminded that the promise of Christ’s second coming will usher in the return to the way the world was intended to be. Most days when things are humming along smoothly, I don’t pause to contemplate Christ’s return. This Covid-Christmas, though, I am struck that the Babe in the manger will indeed return. My heart brims with longing, and fresh resolve to persevere in waiting, for therein lies our Hope.

Come, thou long expected Jesus
Born to set thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in thee

Israel’s strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart.

Charles Wesley

Rebecca Swaim is Executive Director of TWU Richmond. She was born in Hollywood, C.Aand has lived in many cities growing up, including L.A. and Redding, C.A.; Pearl City, H.I.; Vernon, B.C.; Regina, S.K.; Fresno, C.A.and White Rock, B.C. She has also lived and worked in New York, N.Y.; Vancouver, B.C.; Shanghai, Chinaand Richmond, B.C. Her current city of residence is Richmond, B.C.