Advent is for sitting down and waiting. There are many hymns that call us to action and service ‘Stand Up Stand Up for Jesus’. But these calls whilst appropriate at times can be both superficial and impatient. No less urgent at times may be the command ‘Sit Down, sit down and wait’, not to sleep but alert and expectant.
RS Thomas Priest Poet ‘The Meaning is in the Waiting’, ‘Moments of great calm…waiting for the God to speak, the air a staircase for silence’
Paul Tillich Theologian ‘if we wait in hope and patience, the power of that for which we wait is already effective within us…We are stronger when we wait than when we possess’.
TS Eliot East Coker: I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
We wait in despair, excitement, confusion, love, the birth of a child, often the austere pleasure of waiting. Activity and impatience yes but patience too and awareness that faith is realism that has been touched by hope and energised in waiting. I hope in the Lord, my soul has hope and for his word I wait, Psalm 130
– Ven Patrick Evans, partner priest