it happened, that it was while they were in Bethlehem, that she came to
the end of her time of waiting"
2: 6 (adapted from The J.B. Philips translation).
arrivals area of Halifax Airport is frequently a place of heightened
expectation. International passengers proceed from Canada Customs
and into the main arrival area. Those waiting seek familiar faces each
time the closed frosted doors are opened. Domestic arrivals are organized
a little differently. Passengers descend to the arrivals area on an
escalator. Travelers become visible through clear glass sliding doors as
the escalator reaches the ground floor. Smiles, waves, and an occasional
"there they are" break out among those who wait. Meeting a
flight is sometimes just an errand or an easy favor. Other times greeting
someone at the airport is the culmination of a time of lengthy waiting and
preparation. Clues are often observed in an embrace, or the number of
people in a group of greeters, or the sound of excited voices.
for Refugees" gathered at Halifax airport one evening last autumn to
welcome the family we are sponsoring. "Partners" is comprised of
people from several Anglican Parishes, including a good-sized contingent
from St. James. Members of related sponsoring groups joined us at the
airport. The most excited of our company were the extended family of the
new arrivers. We sponsors had spent several months in preparation; but it
was the extended family of the refugees who had waited with the greatest
longing. They themselves were familiar with waiting in a refugee camp
where you wait on help from the other side of the world. Waiting is
sometimes tangible and filled with activity, sometimes emotional and
filled with anticipation and apprehension. Often it is all of these
time of waiting came to an end when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Prophecy,
prayer, visions, disruption by imperial edict, dangerous travel, an
overcrowded city, and the longing of heaven and earth went before that
silent night. No wonder joy was palpable when waiting finally ended.
is our season of waiting. Spend it wisely and prayerfully. When purchasing
gifts, donating to charities, preparing your home for visitors, planning
meals, rehearsing for concerts, volunteering in the community, in all your
tasks take time to pray with thanksgiving for the recipients of your
labors. Take time to thank God for the moments of waiting. For joy surely
comes when waiting gives way to fulfillment.
Rev. Canon Rod Gillis Advent 2010
of all hope and joy, open our hearts in welcome, that your son Jesus
Christ at his coming may find in us a dwelling prepared for Him.
- A New Zealand Prayer Book.