ADVENT: LEARNING TO WAIT
The world as we knew it came to a standstill in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe. For Archbishop Angaelos, the Coptic Archbishop of London, the forced pause was an opportunity to reacquaint himself with the practice of quiet contemplation:
It is undeniable that the pace of life has increased over the past generations. Where people once would have sat, watched, and waited for weeks or even months for processes to take place, we have now become accustomed to immediate reactions. Our expectation of ourselves and of the world around us has become increasingly more demanding, and sometimes anxiety-provoking.
That is, however, until the world was struck by a global pandemic. At that point, we were forced to sit in isolation, and given the opportunity to think and to reflect. During this process many of us came closer to the contemplative practices that our forefathers and foremothers in the Church had known for years.
There is a sense of immediacy for some matters, while others take time. Look, for instance, at the process of salvation. Since the creation of humankind and
its subsequent fall, generations have waited for the coming of salvation. The Saviour was one to be sought; and seek Him they did – until of course, in the fullness of time, the Word became flesh. Today, we must also learn to watch and wait for our Lord, who is not merely risen, but is also still alive and present in our world. We must seek Him in all we do, in the people around us, in situations we experience, and sometimes even in the day-to-day, in what appears to be a mundane life.
We must watch and wait with all humankind, so that when the star appears in our lives, in whatever manifestation that may take, we may follow it, and come to worship and lay down our gifts before our Lord.
Could you take some time this week – whether 5, 15 or 30 minutes – to simply wait quietly in the Lord’s presence?
His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church of London is the Chairman of SAT-7’s International Council and Executive Board.