You’ve Kept Me Waiting!
Things are better when we wait with anticipation
by Helen Levesley (revised, originally published in 2008)
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To consider how Advent means that Christians are waiting for something.
Preparation and materials
You will need a leader and two readers.
Reader 1 should look at his/her watch, tap his/her foot, look annoyed, sigh and begin pacing up and down.
Reader 2 (arriving eventually, sauntering in and waving): Hi!
Reader 1: Oh, you’ve finally decided to show up, have you?
Reader 2: Sorry – am I late?
Reader 1: Yes, I’ve been waiting here for ages!
Reader 2: Really? I couldn’t remember what time you said. I guess good things are worth waiting for!
Readers 1 and 2 freeze.
Leader: ‘I’ve been waiting here for ages!’ How many times have you said that? I’m sure you can think of more than one occasion, and I guess a few of your teachers have said that to some of you in their time, too.
Readers 1 and 2 come to life again.
Reader 1: I am so excited!
Reader 2: I know, so am I! I just can’t wait!
Reader 1: Jenny’s party is going to be amazing. It’s going to be so much fun. She’s having a DJ and everything.
Reader 2: It seems like ages away, though. I wish it would hurry up and arrive, but everything else will just seem really dull after it. What are you going to wear?
Reader 1: I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it. It’s going to be brilliant.
Readers 1 and 2 walk off, still discussing the party.
Leader: I’m sure you’ve all felt like this at some point, too. The one event you’ve been looking forward to seems like it will never arrive.
The importance of that event almost takes over your life. It’s all you can talk about. Your mind keeps wandering back to that event when you know you should be focusing on other things. It seems like there’s so much to do before the event, too. Preparation, what to wear, how to get there – so many things to organize.
For Christians, Advent is a time of waiting. The season of Advent begins around the start of December and ends with the festival of Christmas. What are Christians waiting for, though? Christmas, obviously, but also, the person who came at Christmas is essential to why the season of Advent is about waiting, and waiting for something good. Advent is all about waiting and being patient. After all, it’s four weeks long!
How does it feel when you wait for something you’ve wanted for ages? Maybe Christmas is a good example for you? You enjoy spending time with your family, and you’re excited about giving and receiving presents. Other things you might have waited for are the results of your GCSEs or other exams, or the results of a music or dance exam. The wait for all of these can be compared with the wait that Christians endure during Advent.
Christians use Advent to count down to the birth of Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah, or chosen one. It is a very important time for them, in a variety of ways.
Time for reflection
Leader: Advent is a time of waiting, looking inwards and forwards. It’s about looking back over the past year and considering how we’ve behaved. How have things gone for us? Have we done all the things we wanted to do? And for Christians, have they followed their faith and done all the things that God has asked them to do?
So, when you open the windows on your Advent calendar – I’m sure most of you have one, with chocolates or without – don’t just think that you’re counting down the days until you get your presents. Remember that Advent is a time to reflect on the year that has just gone. Also, think about why Advent calendars are used in the first place. They teach us that waiting and preparing are just as important as the event itself, if not more so.
Help us to realize the importance of waiting, and why it is often better to be patient.
Teach us to prepare ourselves for events to come, and to understand the value of reflection.
This Advent, teach us to wait and reflect upon the important things in life.
Help Christmas to be even better because we have taken the time to prepare.
Any suitable Christmas music.