I thought we were going to meet our baby girl today. I’d had contractions all day yesterday, and they started right back up with some intensity first thing this morning, so I figured active labor couldn’t be too far away. But alas, a check at the hospital revealed that the time was not near and my body was still just slowly working through its preparation for labor.
So it’s back to waiting, indefinite waiting. I hate the waiting.
But that is part of the warp and weft of Christmas, is it not?
Mary waited, as she journeyed with Joseph to Bethlehem, for the birth of her child, not knowing the day He would come. Israel waited, as they suffered under Roman oppression, for the coming of the promised King and Messiah to rescue them, not knowing even the year of His advent, much less the day or the hour. We wait still, now, for the One who will bring eternal hope into the brokenness and despair of our world, lasting peace into war-torn nations and disconnected communities, true joy into hearts numbed by pain and wracked with sorrow, and genuine love into a world defined by systemic oppression and individual hate and indifference. It is a long and weary wait.
Christmas is coming, the King is coming – the One is coming who will set all things right. Just as I know this wait for our baby girl will be over eventually, with all the concomitant joy of new life that a birth brings, so we know that one day our wait for Jesus’s return will be over. It just doesn’t always make the waiting easier.