12th December 2022


Advent is the season of waiting and preparation. The theme of waiting seems to be recurring a lot this year. Sam took us through the psychology of waiting at time@tyndale and it reminded me that I usually find waiting to be a stressful experience. Will the bus come? What is my “plan B” if it doesn’t?

Waiting seems to have changed recently. If you are waiting for a medical procedure then your wait is likely to be longer now than ever before. But if you are waiting for that bus then the bus stop, or your phone, will let you know how long you can expect to wait. And if that wait seems unbearably long (and you are feeling flush) then your phone can get you a taxi. The time we are prepared to wait before we start to see results is getting shorter; patience may still be a virtue but it often seems to be less of a necessity.

Which brings me back to advent: that waiting for change. While I may be longing for some spectacular revelation of God’s glory it may be that I am waiting for quite the wrong thing. Perhaps it is in the small acts of God’s love that lives are being transformed.

On another subject, this week I listened to Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, give the second of this year’s BBC Reith Lectures, discussing faith and liberty. It was a stimulating hour of talk and discussion and available from the BBC at this link.

Nick Parsons