Amazon versus Advent

So the world, or at least some people, were abuzz with the news that Amazon was working on plans to use drones to deliver orders, turning three day delivery into thirty minute delivery. My first thought was that this couldn’t possibly be a good thing for birds who have enough challenges. (Do you think those birds wrecking jet engines are accidental? I think they’ve volunteered for suicide missions in a bid to reclaim their skies.)

My second thought was, why? I don’t know of many things that truly demand that sense of urgency. Blood for transfusions. Organs for transplants. Maybe rings for a wedding service.

I feel fairly certain that Jeff Bezos wasn’t thinking of the contrast with Advent when he made his announcement on 60 Minutes but the contrast is there. Drone delivered orders are about instant gratification. You don’t have to wait.

AdventAdvent is all about waiting. Not yet. Not quite yet. In liturgical churches there’ll be no singing of “Joy to the World” for a while because the lord is not yet come.

We wait for the coming of the child who is yet the lord. We wait for the full serving of the kingdom we have but tasted. We wait for God to complete the work that God has begun in us, even when we cannot see a reason for God to be working in us.

We wait for a day in which earth is filled with peace and good will towards all people. We wait for the ringing sound of a blacksmith hammering swords into plowshares. We wait for the day when weeping shall be no more and the separation of loss is replaced by the joy of union and reunion.

The waiting of Advent isn’t a passive thing, however. It’s not sitting by the door waiting for UPS to ring the bell. Our active waiting demands of us that we act as if it’s already here. We see glimmers of light in the darkness even though the sun is not yet risen.

Sometimes with clients and with friends I will invite them to sit with something. They don’t have to do anything with the thought or the question or the feeling. Just pay attention to it. Does it grow stronger or get weaker? Does the question seem simpler or more complex? Not all questions have to be answered before the music stops. Sit. Pay attention. Wait.

Do justice. Love mercy. Wait.

Our books may be dropped from the sky into our laps but wisdom follows no such schedule. Pizza and toys may come to us  in the space of a sitcom but soulmaking stretches the length of a life.


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