As I contemplated what to write about this year's Advent, I came across some of my journal entries from last year. It's incredible how things have changed and how much has stayed the same. Last year at this time, we were fully online for Sunday worship at my church. We were also doing an outdoor drive-in service where folks could sit in their cars while the worship team and I led worship from the fellowship hall. In one of my journal entries, I wrote that we were in the high orange on the COVID Risk Dial, and yet again, this year, we find ourselves in the same place. But with the vaccines being available, we are not in lockdown anymore. I guess that is progress.
In many ways, we have learned to live with COVID, and for myself, at any rate, I feel kind of numb to it. This morning I went in for my COVID booster shot. I didn't feel the urgency to get this one as I did the others, not because I didn't think it was necessary, but because it's an old hat now. I wonder how many others feel this way?
What I am finding of this Advent season is that I have felt like I can genuinely live into what Advent is supposed to be about in ways that I haven't before. Advent is a season of reflection and preparation for the coming of Christ. It's a season of anticipation as we await the reconciliation and renewal of all things. Much like we await the presents under the tree, we await the gift of the coming Christ. Wait, reflect, anticipate, and prepare; this is where I find myself this year amid so many uncertainties about our future.
I don't know what the future holds. There are so many unknowns. How long will we have to deal with COVID? Will the divisiveness in our country continue to get worse? How can we begin to find common ground and trust one another again? What does the future of the church look like in a post-COVID world? I wish I had concrete answers to these questions. In the meantime, I wait and reflect on where we are as a people and do all I can to listen to and obey the Spirit who continues to lead and guide us into a future that I anticipate with all my heart; the coming of Christ.