Contrasting to his childhood of waiting for chocolates from the Advent calendar, Patrick Peori plans to wait for the coming Messiah. Photo/Pixabay

The waiting game of Advent has its rewards

By  Patrick Peori, Youth Speak News
  • November 24, 2016

‘Light the advent candle one, now the waiting has begun.’

I remember singing that song titled “Light the Advent Candle” every year in elementary school. On the first Sunday of Advent I always think about that line and every year it annoys me more and more.

Getting through Advent today means wishing exams were over and immersing myself in our consumerist culture.

The fact is I never really liked waiting. I have little patience for red lights, long lineups or anything that tries to interrupt my day. But the thing is, Jesus gives us this time to wait for Him so we can prepare to welcome Him at Christmas. We are not waiting for Him, He is waiting for us.

I remember in elementary school getting excited as the weeks went on looking forward to Christmas Day, the gifts I would receive and the time away from school.

Back then, Advent was nothing more than a chocolate calendar. Opening a cardboard door each day meant that I was one day closer to big meals, hot chocolate and shortbread cookies. I wasn’t waiting for a King. I was waiting for all the fun that comes with Christmas morning.

This Advent I plan on waiting for Jesus. Amidst my various commitments, I look forward to finding stillness. This time of quiet will allow me to spend time with our King and truly welcome him on Christmas morning. Instead of being excited to get away from school and open that door of chocolate, my excitement will rest in our coming Messiah.

One of the easiest ways I prepare my heart for Jesus is through some email subscriptions I have. Dynamic Catholic, Redeemed Online and Word of Fire send daily reflections that allow me to stay centred during the season.

At university, it is the time of final projects, reviews and exams. It’s all keeping me very busy. The daily reminders make it so easy to just take a minute each day. There is no excuse to not fit them in. Each day, great speakers inspire me and challenge me to live out the fullness of my Christian faith.

By the time I get to Christmas morning this year, I will have still struggled with patience, but I will have made a commitment to welcome Jesus. All He is asking of me is to be ready for His triumphant arrival into the world. By making room for Jesus this Advent, I will be ready to receive the greatest gift on Christmas morning and carry that with me throughout the rest of the year.

This year, I will sing the last verse of “Light the Advent Candle” song with renewed meaning and hope found only in our Messiah.

‘Light the Christmas candle now; Sing of donkey, sheep, and cow; Birthday candles for the King, Let the Alleluias ring.’

(Peori, 18, is a second-year journalism student at Carleton University in Ottawa)

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