Afterwards

An Advent meditation for/from the Diocese of Ohio

On this date eighteen years ago, my waiting had finally come to an end. One day earlier, our Christmas baby, our Omega child, had been born in the night. Of course, the end of one kind of waiting led to the beginning of several other sorts: waiting for the kettle to boil for my cup of tea; waiting for the midwives to pack up their things and leave; waiting for the family to fall back to sleep, all in our bed by now. Father, daughter, son, mum – except for my hand, which had fallen asleep in the bassinet basket in which the new baby slept close by our bed.

One wait over, I watched through the rest of the night, the rise and fall of their breathing: husband, daughter, son, and this new, strange creature, the Omega child, waiting for them to wake up and remember what comes next.

When the waiting of Advent is relieved – not long now – and the tension is pricked and deflates like a balloon, the watch has only begun.

When the season of Advent is done, its soul continues to whisper through the stable, through the suffering, through the tomb, through the Spirit: “Remember what comes next.”

Though the wait may be over, the watch has only begun. Amen: Come, Lord Jesus.

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