You know that swell of emotion that comes when you are anticipating something tremendous, something that is right . . . over . . . there? You can feel your body physically reaching out to grab that something that is almost, but not quite within your reach.
It washed over me while we watched the Chicago Cubs almost lose the World Series, then become the team they had been throughout the season and win.
More recently, I was following a series of Facebook posts, detailing how a friend was waiting for the birth of his daughter–they had the date, but it just couldn’t come fast enough, and then it was . . . HERE!
Do you remember a number of years ago when the vestments and colors for Advent were blue and rose? Our pastor noted that the blue was a midnight blue, the deepest blue of the darkest part of night, the blue that slowly gives way to the first rosy hues of sunrise, the color we use on Gaudate Sunday.
Symbolically, I think midnight blue ushers in the story of Incarnation better than our traditional penitential purple. (Yes, I am fully aware of the liturgical guidelines, so please, no critiques.)
We know that Advent is a time of waiting and preparing. This week’s readings couldn’t be more explicit about that. But this waiting has a rhythm and time to it like midnight to sunrise. We know that we must patiently live through each 60 second minute, each 60 minute hour, until the Son arrives to bring light to the world.
We can’t shorten it. We can try to ignore it, but it is still there, surrounding us. We can’t change it. We can only live patiently into it.
Speaking as a one who would willingly confess to having a lack of patience overall, the deep blue midnight of Advent brings consolation and gives me pause. It heightens my senses and makes me aware of everyone and everything around me. It begs me to find a place of silence and calm so that I am able to drink in all that happens when the night recedes and day arrives.
Patience comes when we find a settled place from which to anticipate, reach out, wait. In these last days of Advent, find a seat where you can sit with the darkest midnight and await the brightest dawn of Christmas.
It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old . . .