All today, we are waiting. Waiting for a phone call from an airport telling us, "Yes, we got on the flight and we'll be home in a couple of hours," or "No, we didn't make it -we'll see you in the morning." Of course, I want to hear the first of those two options and not the second. I want to see my boy as soon as I possibly can. I want to stay up late, go to the airport at midnight. Tired mom hugging even tireder son. But if he gets in tonight, I don't think I'll feel tired at all. Eager expectation fulfilled brings wakeful, exuberant greeting, not sleepy, half-hearted welcome.
It is Advent. I was so struck yesterday by the parallels between expectation and longing for Matthew's arrival and expectation and longing for the Messiah.
I thought of Simeon, waiting for the consolation of Israel, waiting for death til he could see the Saviour, happy to depart once he had held and blessed the child. (Luke 2:25-35)
I thought of Anna, advanced in years, worshiping and fasting night and day, not departing from the temple, giving thanks and speaking of this child to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36-38)
Waiting, waiting, waiting...for the Messiah. For long years. Watching. Fasting. Praying.
This Advent, I want to wait with the kind of expectation that Simeon felt, live with the consistency and devotion of Anna. To know the eager joy they must have felt when they, at last saw the One for whom that had waited.
Waiting for Matthew is a taste. Hugging him will be a taste. A taste of that kind of joy. That kind of eager delight in the arrival of the One who has come.