Editor's note: "An uncommon Advent: the arrival of a Savior in our lives" is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the Concordia University Wisconsin community. It is our prayer that you will take time during the Advent season to read and reflect upon God's Word and await the coming of Jesus with newfound anticipation and zeal through the Holy Spirit.

December 20 – Waiting

Isaiah 40:18-41:10 and Revelation 8:1-13

During junior high school, I could not wait to go to Friday night dances. My goal was to “slow dance” with the prettiest girls in the school. I wore my finest shirt and pair of corduroy pants and splashed on some of my father’s after-shave lotion. I made sure I was prepared for the big night.

After two hours of “fast dancing” together, the DJ would finally initiate “the multiplication dance.” One girl and one boy started the couples dance in the middle of the dance floor while the rest of the boys and girls lined up on opposite sides. After fifteen seconds, the DJ would stop the song and the boy would go pick out another girl to dance with while the girl selected another boy. When the DJ re-engaged the song, you now saw two couples dancing together. After the next fifteen seconds, you would see four couples dancing, then eight, and so on.

There was one flaw in this equalitarian initiative: Our school had more boys than girls. (While also true at Concordia, we do not utilize the multiplication dance.) Eventually, all the girls would have dance partners while a few boys would be left out. For some boys, the wait for a dance partner turned into an agonizing, painful blow to their psyche.

In our hustle and bustle world today, too many people lack patience to wait for anything. Slow table servers, drivers, check-out lines, and internet connections frustrate and even infuriate us. Forget the wait. We are impatient for change. We want a pain-free life, and we want it right now.

Advent calls on us to “Be still,” listen, and wait on our God and His plans (Psalm 46:10), for His timing is always perfect. Indeed, we celebrate Christmas because “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son” (Galatians 4:4)—the Babe of Bethlehem, the One who would deliver us from our sins.

There is a popular saying that “good things come to those who wait,” but we understand this is often not true. Instead, God promises that “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31).

Wait on the Lord this advent season with confidence, hope, and joy. For no matter when the music stops, you will never be left out or alone. Immanuel reigns. He came to dance with you—in this life and the next.

-Dr. Jim Pingel is the Dean of the School of Education and has served CUW full time since 2014. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.

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