First Sunday of Advent: What Are You Waiting For?

First Sunday of Advent: What Are You Waiting For? November 28, 2021

Another advent season has begun, the second one in this Covid-19 pandemic. It snuck up on me this year. In fact, the realization that today is the first Sunday of advent woke me up out of a sound sleep in the wee hours of this morning—not with a feeling of panic that I completely forgot to plan our annual advent series (which I totally did), but rather with hopeful expectation.

But for what?  What exactly am I expecting? In this season of preparation, what am I waiting for?

I honestly do not know.

I mean, I know that our Christmas celebration at the end of advent is in recognition of the coming of Emmanuel, of God with us. What does that mean, though?

Is this the year that Jesus returns? Probably not? Maybe? According to scripture, nobody knows the day or time (Matthew 25:13), so this Christmas is as likely or as unlikely a possibility of any other day, right?

What would that look like to have God right here in the midst of us?

These are the thoughts that have accompanied me as I went out into the snow flurries to cut greens from my holly, boxwood, and juniper bushes to put together my advent wreath.


This year, I have gone with four hand-dipped green tapers, symbolizing faith—as that feels like my biggest need right now—and a white “Jesus candle”. I also have continued my annual tradition of adding a bird to my advent wreath. While picking up the tapers, I found a sweet wooden swan. I have had a thing for swans ever since the first date with my husband, when he came to my school and made a swan ice carving for my students. So, I am especially happy about this turn of events.



Tonight, after watching all the football and eating all the snacks, I’ll light the first candle—the hope candle—with my husband. He will pick some music, and together we will reflect on all our questions about what “God with us” means. Each of us, in our own way, will pray. I hope that I will get some answers.

As we move through this season,  join us here for the ongoing conversation about what we, as believers with great faith, shaken faith, or no faith, are waiting for.



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