On a recent visit to San Diego, I found myself frequently standing at a street corner, ready to cross quickly to the other side. Unfortunately, whether due to a streetcar or to traffic passing by, I was forced to wait. As a reminder, a rather annoying voice at the traffic light kept repeating, “Wait…Wait.” I found my impatience growing and realized that waiting is often hard and challenges our desire for instant gratification. It reminded me of the contrast we find ourselves in at this season of the year. In the Episcopal Church, we celebrate roughly four weeks of Advent, which begins right after Thanksgiving. The color is purple, not red. Songs sung in church are ones of waiting and expectation, not the all-too-familiar Christmas hymns. It is a time of preparation and patience but also one that calls for being still and listening. All of this is going on within the church, while outside the rest of the world is hustling and bustling around with the sounds and decorations that say Christmas is here. Quite the contrast.
On the other hand, I actually love the contrast that we can offer to our students in our Episcopal school. To be able to offer a space in each day in our chapel services where we can be still, be quiet, be present to God’s spirit around us as we wait with a bit of patience for the arrival of Christmas, may be just the thing our students and staff need at a very hectic time of the year. Patience, preparation, and expectation are all important qualities we would like to instill in our students as well as ourselves.
With that in mind, the St. Michael’s campus is a glorious place to be at this time of the year. We celebrate our growing Christmas spirit while being renewed and soothed by the quiet and peace of the season of Advent. Perhaps it’s the best of both worlds and will give our students a balance as they approach the excitement of Christmas with high expectations. Perhaps we will be able to instill the true meaning and values of Christmas as we prepare our hearts for the celebration ahead. So, Happy Advent! Just wait…wait…wait.
Head of School