Time of Waiting, Hope in Dark Places

Time - time passing, time moving too quickly, not enough time, urgently get everything done in time or on time, time running out. If there has been a theme for phrases commonly heard this year it is, "Where has 2018 gone? How did we get to Christmas Carols in the malls already? There isn't enough TIME!" It is enough to raise blood pressure just thinking about it; but I was reminded last night as I read through my Facebook feed, 2018 has been a really long year. It has been so long that an Olympics Games happened in February, but the general consciousness stopped mentioning it long ago. That may be a commentary on the popularity of the Olympics in this era, or an indication of just how much has taken place socially, politically, locally, nationally, and worldwide, but it is still telling that it feels like the Olympics happened in a prior year. Time is passing all to quickly, keeping us breathless and anxious with urgent demands. Time to empty our lives of the terror of urgency.

But, we run headlong into the last month of the year, spurred on by tinsel and the jangle of tiny bells. There is so much to do each day! We put the blinders on, focus on the day after Christmas, and everything in between is an obstacle course to be traversed. If anything makes our gaze waver from the goal, the entire race to the finish could be lost: a present not wrapped, decorations missed, the dinner under (or over!) cooked. Time is always running out.

A remarkable thing happens when we take the blinders off, though, pause, and look around. There is an incredible drama about to play out, the story of a family of travelers seeking shelter in a strange land. They face issues at town borders, and discrimination at lodging places. In the middle of pain and fright, a terrifying event happens that heralds a new age and paradigm. Time running out, or being fulfilled?

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