The Christian church in the West celebrated the beginning of a new year on Sunday with the first Sunday of Advent. Our family has only sporadically been attending church since March. We’ve made this choice out of respect for our governing authorities and an abundance of caution (for ourselves, yes but, more importantly, for our fellow attendees). We have friends who are pastors who love us and look after us. We stream services every week; of course it’s not the same, but we are grateful for the option.

Which brings me to Advent 2020.

Advent is a time of waiting. Waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises since Genesis. Waiting for the light in the darkness. Waiting for baby Jesus to be born. Waiting to understand how in the world God intends to use a helpless infant to save all of Creation. In the past I’ve treasured this anticipation. But this year I do not.

2020 has had many themes, and one of them is undoubtably that of “Waiting.” Waiting to understand how dangerous the Coronavirus is. Waiting to hear what our state and nation plan to do. Waiting for lockdown to end. Waiting for toilet paper and Lysol and hand sanitizer to be available again. Waiting to see friends and family. Waiting for a vaccine. Waiting for the second third? wave. I haven’t even touched on all the waiting being done by Black Americans. Waiting for their lives to be valued. Waiting to be heard.

I’m so sick of waiting.

Merry Christmas. I’m skipping the anticipation and going straight to the joy. I know how the hope and waiting of Advent end, and that unbridled rejoicing of the angels is what I need right now.

So, Merry Christmas. For now, and for as long as you’d like to celebrate it. But at least until January 5th.