It was only choir practice on a Thursday night at the little United Church a mile away. My friend Edith and I were thirteen years old and proud to be the youngest members. At seven forty-five, after one of the farmers and his wife who also attended our church had milked their cows and changed their clothes, they would pull into our driveway to give me a ride.
One winter evening, at seven-forty, I got ready and waited in the kitchen. Ten minutes later I was overheating and took off my toque and mitts. Five minutes after that, I needed to go to the bathroom but didn’t dare leave my post. We would be late now and they’d be in a hurry when they arrived.
At eight o’clock a car drove by in the opposite direction. I watched the red tail lights disappear down the gravel road.
At eight-fifteen I took off my coat and boots and headed upstairs to my room.
“I thought you were going to the church,” my dad said.
“My ride didn’t come,” I replied. “I guess they forgot about me.”
I must not be that important, I thought and added that thought to all the other evidence I had collected that proved I didn’t matter.
For years after that Thursday night, waiting for anyone made me nervous. Finally I learned to have a backup plan, even if it was only telling myself it wouldn’t be the end of me if they didn’t come.
This Sunday Advent begins. It’s a whole season of waiting and I am thrilled. I am thrilled because I know the One I am waiting for will come. He always does.
For hundreds of years, Israel waited for their Messiah. Finally he came. The angel Gabriel announced the good news to a young virgin named Mary. She became pregnant by the Holy Spirit and gave birth to the Saviour of the world in Bethlehem, just as the prophets said.
Jesus came to earth because we matter. His Spirit remains with us now because we always will.
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned…
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
– Isaiah 9:2,6