Advent. Adventus, Adventum. 4th Declension noun, indicating the approach or arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. Also, the first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.
Arrival brings with it a sense of anticipation, a note of waiting. There is something right around the corner, but not yet present. And there is much, it seems, that the world today awaits. After slogging through months of shelter-in-place, intermittent quarantines, and all the rest that Covid has brought, there is the promise of an end to it all, a Covid vaccine right around the corner—but it hasn’t quite arrived yet. And even after receiving a vaccination (for those who choose it), there is yet more waiting, with weeks to build up the promised immunity.
We await also the restoration of “normal” at The Academy, the festivals and feasts that make up the warp and woof of our cultural fabric, classroom rituals and routines that have been on pause in this awkward season of waiting. We can hardly wait for an end to the constant reshuffling and rescheduling of the touchstones we know and love! Even our Midtown renovation brings with it a sense of waiting, of preparing for that which is to come–quite literally being prepared, through the complete demolition of walls, floors, and ceilings! (In fact, you can see some photos of the in-process demolition below!)
And so this seems to be an especially “adventy” Advent, faced at every turn with waiting we’d rather put aside and hearts worn thin with yearning, and this seems a fitting metaphor for the true Advent! We are in a long season of waiting, but we know that the yearnings of our heart are fully answered in Christ alone. The moment is coming when the “weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn” and the wedding feast begins.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you in January!