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December : ‘Tis the Season to Wait’

Sylvie Queval


Translation Louise Thunin


Something is going to happen, someone is coming, and we enjoy counting backwards in time : three more weeks, then two, then just one… When we were children, Advent calendars were our precious friends during this wait. As adults, our Advent wreaths have taken the relay in measuring time.


It’s rather suprising, when we stop to think about it, that each year we live anew this feverish expectation of Christmas, even though we know for sure that it will come on December 25th, whatever happens. It is the particular strength of this ritual to make new what is old, to make us wait for what has already come !


Let us not deprive ourselves of this pleasure. We know by heart the story of this long-expected birth, of this precarious delivery, of the angelic or pastoral visits to a babe lying in a manger. And yet every year we need to revive our wait, we need to reread and listen again to the marvelous narratives in order to sharpen our capacity to be surprised, to keep it alive.


It would be so easy to drift asleep in our habits, which are a counterfeit of ritual. Habit reproduces the same acts mechanically – ritual, which resembles it like a brother, may reproduce the same gestures but, ideally, at least, it refers to original meaning and to a founder. The experience of waiting is a nourishing and vivifying one. To all our readers of Evangile et Liberté, may you enjoy this period of Advent as a reminder of that « happy event » whose memory we shall soon celebrate.



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À propos Gilles

a été pasteur à Amsterdam et en Région parisienne. Il s’est toujours intéressé à la présence de l’Évangile aux marges de l’Église. Il anime depuis 17 ans le site Internet Protestants dans la ville.

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