The smells that go with making bread made the juices flow, and it was such a long time to wait until we could eat it.
We are all waiting for the vaccine that is going to save us and let us return to our lives. It is difficult to wait while the numbers of those dying from this virus continue to climb. It seems the darkest days are now here, and it is harder and harder to endure. If you are like me, you are wondering where you will fall in the pecking order of who gets to receive the vaccine, and how long your wait will be.
This waiting puts us in the perfect frame of mind for Advent because Advent is all about waiting with expectation. You know something is coming that will make things better. In Advent we remember that we are waiting for the Beloved Community of God to become a reality on earth as it is in heaven.
In our house growing up cooking was all about anticipation. Holidays, like Christmas, required days of food preparation. But even on ordinary days, my mother would spend hours in the kitchen. I remember the sauce for Gnocchi as it simmered on the stove all day – the wonderful smell filling the house. No sauce out of jar can ever match it. And Mom made bread every week. I remember watching the dough rise, only to see Mom punch it down again, and then we would wait for it to rise again, and Mom would punch it down again, and form it into loaves, and then we would wait for it to rise in the pans. Finally, Mom would put it in the oven, and I would know it was almost finished. The smells that go with making bread made the juices flow, and it was such a long time to wait until we could eat it.
Advent is a time of anticipation – waiting for something wonderful. We live in a culture today that really seems to hate waiting. People experience frustration and even rage when they are kept waiting in traffic, or in lines. Our food is fast and even drive through. We have microwaves and instant foods of all kinds. We often eat alone. We eat while driving, or at our desks at work, or while watching TV.
We miss out on the anticipation, the preparation, and even in the sharing. Perhaps one way to celebrate Advent this year is to take more time with meals – even in the middle of a season that says: rush, rush, rush – there’s not enough time … slow down, and take time. Even if you are alone, take time.
Isaiah tells us that in the days to come there will be a great feast prepared by God of the very best foods. First, God will wipe away every tear. And something else – God will destroy the veil that blinds us and destroy the web of deceit that prevents us from coming together in peace and harmony. And then we will have a wondrous meal that will last for days and days.
My beloved ones, let us be open to God coming to us, and changing us, and making us one in peace and harmony. O Come – O Come – Emmanuel.