Mary is 36 weeks pregnant, and baby Jesus is due any day.
How do we learn to wait for a baby savior?
Waiting for Christmas is about waiting for a baby to be born, and as any mom will tell you, that kind of waiting is hard work. We get impatient. We get distracted. We take baby waiting as primarily an excuse to eat huge quantities of butter, chocolate, and combinations of the two. But babies change everything, and learning to wait with hopeful longing for God’s new life to burst into the world is at the heart of the Christian faith.
But not everyone who waits for babies waits 40-week gestational periods. There are some parents who must endure rounds and rounds of infertility tests and treatments to even have the possibility hearing that a baby is officially on the way. There are some parents who wait by wading through the rigors of adoption paperwork and court dates. There are some parents who wait for babies who doctors have said have little chance of survival out of utero. There are some co-waiters: aunts and uncles, grandparents, and siblings who come alongside those who wait for babies, both when there is a due date and also when there is not.
What can all of these experiences of waiting teach us about waiting for baby Jesus?
We (Sarah and Elizabeth) became friends as roommates at Duke Divinity School. We later were both ordained as ministers within the Baptist church. Several years after seminary, I (Sarah) birthed two girls back-to-back and wrote a theological reflection about the experience in a book called, Creating with God. I (Elizabeth) am still waiting to become an official mother, and have written a book (forthcoming) about infertility. How could we as pastors and friends hold our radically different experiences of waiting in the same conversation? This writing project is our answer.
This Advent season, we invite you to learn to wait for a baby Savior by waiting with us.
We have asked 4 people with radically different experiences of waiting for babies from even us to write one meditation for each of the four weeks of Advent: Joe, Susan, Beth, and Dayna. We hope that over the course of Advent you get to know each of us better and enter into our stories in a deeper way. We’ve also asked guest writers to join their voices to our project too: Joy, Chris, Jonathan, Jennifer, Kevin, Ed and MaryAnn. They’ve got some fabulous things to say too!
Join us in this conversation of study and preparation this Advent. If you would like a PDF of the project emailed to you, leave your email in the comments or sent a message in the “Contact” section of the blog and we’ll be glad to send you the daily devotions.
Sarah and Elizabeth
If you want to read some posts- check out these favorite ones from some of our writers posted in Advent 2013:
“Discovering Joy” Dayna Olson-Getty (a grieving mom’s story about finding peace)
“Discovering Joy” Elizabeth Hagan (a grieving mom to be)
“Discovering Joy” Susan Smartt Cook (a midwife’s perspective on waiting)
“Love That Groans” Beth Dotson (a grandmother who has waited with others)
“Love That Groans” Joy Bennett (a grieving mother who lost a child)
“Waiting with Hope” Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (an adoptive dad)
“Waiting with Hope” Sarah Jobe (a mom of 2 young girls)