Advent’s Prophecy Candle—Practice How to Wait Expectantly

Advent’s Prophecy Candle—Practice How to Wait Expectantly December 1, 2019

Advent Candle, Joel Bez, Creative Commons

Advent is about waiting—waiting for Jesus’ appearance. But it is very difficult to wait in a society of instant gratification, fast food, and high-speed internet. The Prophecy Candle that many churches light the first week of Advent reflects a lifestyle of waiting as the prophets of old waited patiently and attentively for the Messiah to come.

John Henry Newman reflects upon Advent as a time of waiting wisely:

Advent is a time of waiting, it is a time of joy because the coming of Christ is not only a gift of grace and salvation but it is also a time of commitment because it motivates us to live the present as a time of responsibility and vigilance.

How can we cultivate such a lifestyle of responsible and vigilant waiting for Jesus to come, not just on Prophecy Candle Sunday, but during the ensuing week and beyond?

Further to what was stated above, such waiting is not passive. We wait with urgent expectation. As we wait for Jesus’ coming, we  need to get our houses in order. What can we do this week, this month, this coming year to prepare for his arrival? Word to the wise: it is quite likely the Lord will not come at the expected hour.

Let’s take a deep breath while waiting in the holiday season traffic jam or super long checkout line this week. Breathe deeply and think about how saints of old waited hundreds and thousands of years for the prophecies about the Messiah to be fulfilled. Ponder how their long-awaited one is with us now in spirit as we wait in line. As we clean the house or apartment for a Christmas party, or get cleaned up to go to one, let’s cleanse our hidden thoughts about God, others and ourselves stowed away in cluttered hearts with the awareness that Jesus sees all. As a housekeeping and grooming analogy, let’s consider cleaning out the closet into which we throw everything as we prepare for the guests’ arrival. Think about ironing the wrinkled shirt or blouse we wear under the sport coat or jacket to the party. Let’s get ready. He’s coming.

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