Well, I’ve been waiting all Advent. I have not felt the joy or the excitement or even just a little anticipation of the Advent season and the December hustle and bustle yet this year. I’ve tried, really, but for some reason I just have not been able to get into the spirit. I’ve possibly been a little grumpy about all things Advent and Christmas, which is unfortunate, but it’s what happened. I’ve tried to fake it and I’ve done my best to keep up devotionally–reading, praying, seeking out silence and solitude each day, but I’ve been waiting for it to “seem” like Advent.
This morning, I volunteered at Holy Name School. They have video announcements, prayer time and the Pledge of Allegiance each morning at 7:55–which is when the tardy bell rings. I volunteer at the front desk and what happens is the TV goes on, the day’s chosen 8th graders start to make the announcements and every student or adult in the lobby stands up in anticipation of the coming prayer time. As students come down to the lobby with notes, etc. from their teachers, as late students and their parents who must sign them in file in the door, as teachers and staff pass through, they all stop because everyone knows you don’t continue down the hall once the announcements have begun.
After the announcements, they had an Advent meditation that was basically a song (I believe it was sung by Janet Barkley, the school’s music teacher, but I’m not positive) with pictures on the screen. The point was to reflect and think and pray.
In front of where I was standing behind the desk was a small boy. He was supposed to be in Ms. Kim’s kindergarten class, but he was late, so he was waiting for the announcements and prayers to be over so that his mom could sign him in and he could get his pass. All of a sudden as I was watching the pictures on the screen, I heard him begin to sing. He sang out loudly–obviously this was a song that they had been learning or at least listening to in music class. His sweet little voice filled the lobby and he was obviously unaware (or unfazed) that no one else was singing. A few people giggled, but he just kept on. I have no idea what they were showing on the screen, because I was watching him–Parker (I learned his name when I wrote him his pass for class). He lifted his voice and he never took his eyes off the screen and the look of joy and excitement on his face was what finally put me smack in the middle of the second Friday of Advent.
I hope that you’re already there. It’s a time of waiting and preparing and anticipation and it’s something we get to do every year as we seek hope, peace, joy and love that the Messiah brings.
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the LORD,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”