And so we wait, in different ways, in order to be formed, in order to play our part in the forming of the world to come. But though we wait in different ways, we wait together. Our shared waitings inform our personal waiting, as we come together, as we encourage one another, as we pray prayers and sing carols that have been passed down from generation to generation of patient, hopeful waiters, as we listen to familiar/over-familiar/forgotten accounts and try to enter in to the story of God entering in to our world.
In just a few more days, our intentional waiting will come to an end, as we first celebrate Christmas (the Light coming into the world) and then Epiphany (‘kairos’ encounters with the Light) and on...And our ability to enter into Christmas, and Epiphany, and what lies beyond will to some degree be limited by the extent to which we have wrestled with God in the waiting, in the night. Like Jacob, we too will emerge into the day with a lasting limp – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers more aware of our own frailty, (conversely) more aware of our own strength, more aware that we have met with God and that he has allowed us to meet with him as an equal because he has stooped down in order to lift us up, more aware that we have a story to tell, more aware of those around us from whom we have been estranged and to whom God is committed that we should be reconciled.