The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. — Lamentations 3:25
So much waiting and so little time. During the four short weeks of Advent, Christians anticipate both a baby being born and the end of time. Our faithful cousins, the Adventists, live in anticipation that the Second Coming is coming soon. They keep rescheduling the momentous day. Jesus, however, is on a different calendar.
We Anglicans (Episcopalians) are incarnational folks. It is Christmas that we are waiting for. God takes an enormous leap of faith to be born as a babe in the manger. Vulnerable, tiny and in need of love. That Second Coming thing is a far off and nebulous thing to us.
But in a single tick of the clock, God infuses the fullness of time.
Life is what happens while we are waiting, right? Waiting for the alarm to go off. Waiting for a downtown bus. Waiting for paint to dry and the dryer to buzz. Waiting at the dentist’s office and in line at the grocery store. Waiting for a loved one to come safely home.
Waiting on love. Waiting on hope. Waiting on faith.
Waiting on God and waiting for the Child.
This little book marks the 24 days of Advent. Each with an artistic image, a quote from literature, and links to the Daily Office readings for the season. Twenty-four days to wait until the time is ripe and for the kingdom to come.
The Rev. Joani Peacock
December 1st: Waiting for God
‘Wait on the Lord’ is a constant refrain in the psalms, for God often keeps us waiting. He is in not such a hurry as we are, and it is not his way to give more light on the future than we need for the present, or to guide us more than one step at a time. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. When action is needed, light will come. — J.I. Packer
Daily Office Readings: Amos 1: 1-5, 13:2-18, 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11, Matthew 24:36-44
December 2nd: Waiting in Line
I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. — C.S. Lewis
Daily Office Readings: Amos 2: 6-16, 2 Peter 1: 1-11, Matthew 21: 1-11
December 3rd: Waiting for the Phone to Ring
While waiting for her to phone me at school, I’d feel seconds bursting inside me and leaving clouds. That won’t come again – it can’t. I’ll never have that with anyone else. I’ll never even come close. — Helen Oyeyemi
Daily Office Readings: Amos 3: 1-11, 2 Peter 1: 12-21, Matthew 21:12-22
December 4th: Waiting for the Bread to Rise
When God brings a time of waiting, and appears to be unresponsive, don’t fill it with busyness, just wait. — Oswald Chambers
Daily Office Readings: Amos 3: 12-4:5, 2 Peter 3:1-10, Matthew 21: 23-32
December 5th: Waiting on Hope
As long as I can fight, I am moved by hope; and if I fight with hope, then I can wait. — Paulo Freire
Daily Office Readings: Amos 4: 6-13, 2 Peter 3: 11-18, Matthew 21:33-46
December 6th: Waiting for the Light to Change
The street to my left was backed up with traffic and I watched the people waiting patiently in the cars. There was almost always a man and a woman staring straight ahead, not talking…First the signal red, then the signal was green. The citizens of the world ate food and watched TV and worried about their jobs or lack of the same, while they waited. — Charles Bukowski
Daily Office Readings: Amos 5: 1-17, Jude 1-16, Matthew 22: 1-14
December 7th: Waiting on the Clock
Finally – we know this – life’s little wisdom is to wait… and the great grace that is bestowed on us in return is to survive. – Ranier Marie Rilke
Daily Office Readings: Amos 5: 18-27, Jude 17-25, Matthew 22: 15-22
December 8th: Waiting for the Weather to Change
Everybody is waiting for cooler weather – and I am just waiting for you. — Bob Dylan
Daily Office Readings: Amos 6: 1-14, 2 Thessalonians 1: 5-12, Luke 1: 57-68
December 9th: Waiting on Eternity
You have to imagine
a waiting that is not impatient
because it is timeless. — R.S. Thomas
Daily Office Readings: Amos 7: 1-9, Revelation 1: 1-8, Matthew 22: 23-33
December 10th: Waiting for When the Time is Ripe
Consider the headache that waits for caffeine.
Consider the silence that waits for music.
Consider the shoreline that waits for the tide to come in.
Now consider what YOU’RE waiting for,
And what simply what won’t wait anymore.
Consider the heartbreak that waits for relief.
Consider the treasure that waits for discovery.
Consider the crops that wait for rain.
Now consider what YOU’RE waiting for.
And what waits for you while you wait. — Lin-Manuel Miranda
Daily Office Readings: Amos 7: 10-17, Revelation 1: 9-16, Matthew 22: 34-46
December 11th: Waiting for News, Good or Bad
To be in a long-term state of limbo, not knowing the outcome or length of waiting time, is utterly, shatteringly exhausting. — Tanya Marlow
Daily Office Readings: Amos 8: 1-14, Revelation 1: 17-2:7, Matthew 23: 1-12
December 12th: Waiting for the Plumber
When is it going to happen? How long do we have to wait? When does construction begin? Jesus’ response was ‘It is not for you to know the times that the Father has set… In other words, it’s none of your business. Your question is irrelevant. That kind of information is no use to you. It would probably confuse you, might discourage you, and would certainly distract you. – Eugene Peterson
Daily Office Readings: Amos 9: 1-10. Revelation 2: 8-17, Matthew 23: 3-26
December 13th: Waiting for Someone Who Never Returns
I will be waiting for you at the end of every blind alley, under the lonely streetlamps that will no longer be ours. When the wind grows colder, and the huge piles of settled leaves sit there for a week of two…I will be waiting for you. I will be waiting for what could have been and for what will never be; for the letters that never arrived, the letters that were never sent, and the letters that will never be written. – Malak El Halabi
Daily Office Readings: Haggai 1: 1-15, Revelation 2: 18-29, Matthew 23: 27-39
December 14th: Waiting for the Light
Truth is the offspring of silence and meditation. I keep the subject constantly before me and wait until the first dawnings open slowly, by little and little, into a full and clear light. – Isaac Newton
Daily Office Readings: Haggai 2: 1-9, Revelation 3: 1-6, Matthew 24: 1-14
December 15th: Waiting for the Storm to Pass
I hold my home and I store my bread
In little jars and cabinets of my will.
I label clearly, and each latch and lid
I bid. Be firm till I return from hell.
I am very hungry. I am incomplete.
And none can tell when I may dine again.
No man can give me any word but Wait,
The puny light. I keep eyes pointed in;
Hoping that, when the devil days of my hurt
Drag out to their last dregs and I resume
On such legs as are left to me, in such heart
As I can manage, remember to go home,
My taste will have turned insensitive
To honey and bread old purity could love. –– Gwendolyn Brooks
Daily Office Readings: Amos 9: 11-15, 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3, 13-17, John 5: 30-47
December 16th: Waiting on a Train
The loudspeaker on the wall crackles, hisses, and suddenly announces, in astonishingly soothing tones, that a train is going to be delayed. An ocean-swell of sighs ripples through the waiting room. – Andrei Makine
Daily Office Readings: Zechariah 1: 7-17, Revelation 3: 7-13, Matthew 24: 15-31
December 17th: Waiting to Grow Up
All this waiting.
Waiting for the rain to stop.
Waiting in traffic.
Waiting at the airport for an old friend.
Waiting to depart.
There’s the big waiting;
Waiting to grow up. Waiting for love.
Waiting to show your parents that when you have kids, you’ll be different.
Waiting to retire. Waiting for death.
Why do we think waiting is the antithesis of life, when it is almost all of it? — Kamand Kojouri
Daily Office Readings: Zechariah 2: 1-13, Revelation 3: 14-22, Matthew 24: 32-44
December 18th: Waiting for Life to Begin
Deep in her soul, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a sailor in distress, she would gaze out over the solitude of her life with desperate eyes, seeking some white sail in the mists of the far-off horizon. She did not know what this chance event would be, what wind would drive it to her, what shore it would carry her to, whether it was a longboat or a three decked vessel, loaded with anguish or filled with happiness up to the portholes. But each morning when she awoke, she hoped it would arrive that day… — Gustave Flaubert
Daily Office Readings: Zechariah 3: 1-10, Revelation 4: 1-8. Matthew 24: 45-51
December 19th: Waiting on Love
He was waiting, I think, for me to cross that space and take him in my arms again – waiting as one waits at a deathbed for the miracle one dare not disbelieve, which will not happen. — James Baldwin
Daily Office Readings: Zechariah 4: 1-14, Revelation 4: 9-5:5, Matthew 25: 1-13
December 20th: Waiting for a Loved One to Come Home
Usually you appear at the front door
When you hear my steps on the gravel,
But today the door was closed.
Not a wisp of pale smoke from the chimney.
I peered into a window
But there was nothing but a table with a comb,
Some yellow flowers in a glass of water
And dark shadows in the corner of the room.
I stood for a while under the big tree
And listened to the wind and the birds,
Your wind and your birds,
Your dark green woods beyond the clearing.
This is not what it is like to be you,
I realized after a few magnificent clouds
Flew over the rooftop.
It is just me thinking about being you.
And before I headed back down the hill,
I walked in a circle around your house,
Making an invisible line
Which you would have to cross before dark. – Billy Collins
Daily Office Readings: Zechariah 7:8-8:8, Revelation 5:6-14, Matthew 25:14-30
December 21st: Waiting in the Dark
I sing to use the waiting,
My bonnet but to tie,
And shut the door unto my house;
No more to do have I,
‘Till, his best step approaching,
We journey to the day,
And tell each other how we sang
To keep the dark away. – Emily Dickinson
Daily Office Readings: Job 42:1-6, 1 Peter 1: 3-9, Isaiah 48: 8-13, John 14:1-7
December 22nd: Waiting for the Dawn
So, through endless twilights I dreamed and waited, though I knew not what I waited for. Then in the shadowy solitude my longing for light grew so frantic that I could rest no more, and I lifted entreating hands to the single black ruined tower that reached above the forest into the unknown outer sky. And at last I resolved to scale that tower, fall through I might, since it were better to glimpse the sky and perish, than to live without even beholding a day. – H.P. Lovecraft
Daily Office Readings: Genesis 3: 8-15, Revelation 12: 1-10, John 3: 16-21
December 23rd: Waiting for the Water to Break
All along I’d vaguely assumed the emptiness and the pain meant I was doing something wrong, but maybe it was all just part of the process so something new could be born. First the barrenness, to make space. Then the pain, which is the only way to birth. — Stephanie Rische
Daily Office Readings: Zephaniah 3: 14-20, Titus 1: 1-16, Luke 1: 1-25
December 24th: Waiting for the Child
There are words in the soul of a newborn baby, wanting and waiting to be written. — Toba Beta
Daily Office Readings: Baruch 4:36-5:9, Galatians 3:23-4:7, Matthew 1: 18-25
NOTE: Beginning Sunday, December 1st, paper copies are available in the narthex at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 1608 Russell Road, Alexandria, VA.