The first week in December is the first week of Advent – a time of preparation for the Christmas holiday. The theme for the first week of Advent is “waiting.” One central fact of the Christmas story is that the birth of Jesus, a person who was sent from God to help all humankind, had been waited for by many generations of Jewish people. Waiting, and then an end to waiting when Jesus was born, are important pieces of Christmas.
Let’s think about your own experience of waiting. For example, there is waiting at stop lights, waiting at the doctor’s office and waiting in line at the grocery store. Think of ten examples of times that you wait on a regular basis, both here and in your native country. Are there things that you must wait for in the U.S. that you don’t have to wait for in your native country? And vice versa? Remember, ten examples from each guest!
What’s the longest time period that you’ve waited for something? Try to think of something that you waited at least a year for.
Waiting a year to get married might be easier for you than waiting 60 seconds for your computer to download a file from the internet. What kind of waiting is actually a pleasure? What kind of waiting is a pain? What can you do to make waiting more of a pleasure and less of a pain?
Let’s think of words and phrases made from the word “wait.” Do you use these kinds of word in your native language? Waiting list, waiting room, waiters and waitresses, waiting game and waiting up.
Who waits for you and for what?
What’s are some of the most important things that you’re waiting for right now?
Around 1000BC, a man named David wrote many songs about God that we can read in the Bible. In this one, David talks about waiting for God to set people free from sin completely. David was able to wait, because he had faith that God would forgive his sins and help him in his life at the right time.
“Lord, I cry out to you because I’m suffering so deeply
Lord, listen to me. Pay attention to my cry for your favor.
Lord, suppose you kept a record of sins.
Lord, who then wouldn’t be found guilty?
But you forgive. So people have respect for you.
With all my heart I wait for the Lord to help me.
I put my hope in his word.
I wait for the Lord to help me
I wait with more longing than those on guard duty wait for the morning.”