by Bishop Wayne Smith

Our culture is in danger of losing any meaningful sense of the future. On the one hand, there is the trend toward hopelessness and despair, the logical consequence of losing a future. On the other hand, there is an inherent impatience created by our fast-paced culture and its technologies. We learn not to wait, and we expect the instantaneous, even when it is not available.

Christian faith asserts a future. Christian character takes shape in the course of waiting, within a leisurely patience. So much of what we value takes time–the exercise of hospitality, for which there is no hurry-up; the growth of love toward God and neighbor, and toward one’s own beloved; the healing of what ails us, if that healing is to be more than a Band-Aid.

Advent is the season devoted to the future. It bids the Christian not to hurry up but to wait, to savor the time, and to question the instantaneous. A favorite season for many of us, perhaps it taps into something we know we need buthardly know how to express. It orients us toward a future in which Christ awaits.

May this Advent be leisurely and holy, chock full of hope, tilting toward God’s future.


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