When I walk to church it feels so different. I start off at the Manse and notice the neighbours, I cross the road and go over the railway bridge looking at the tube trains making their way to Baker Street, I’m now outside Tescos Express and if it’s lunchtime 150 students from our local Grammar School will also be there buying lunch, it’s then a walk up the high street, a nod to our neighbouring church of St Michael’s, make my way over the Zebra crossing, trying to always remember to be polite to the car drivers who have stopped, especially if I’m wearing my clerical collar, and then in, via the back door of Amersham Free Church. A ten minute journey in which I’ve probably met, noted and encountered 10 different people or events taking place that have made an impression on me.
Such a different journey walking to driving, because I’ve noticed so much more.
Advent, these next four weeks is often thought of as a waiting time, and in
many ways that’s a good understanding, especially in our impatient
society. Yet, the idea that Advent is
primarily about waiting can imply that nothing of too much importance will
happen between Advent Sunday and Christmas Day.
Maybe viewed like one of my car drive experiences, just a journey of
convenience, no more than just getting me, perhaps rather mindlessly, from A to
I’d rather look forward to the gift of these next four weeks and Sundays as a walk, instead of a drive. A journey when much might, and probably will happen. And in that sense, I tell myself this morning that Advent is just as much about watching as it is about waiting. Watching is active. Watching is being open to the whispers of God. Watching is about becoming engaged and available.