The Archbishop writes in the Radio Times...
"You may have come across Alexa, the online virtual assistant who does your bidding at your spoken command, whether it be turning on your television, controlling your oven or ordering your shopping online. One newspaper called it the ‘gift de jour’ last Christmas. It is supposed to deliver us the life we’re told we want – where we just shout at a device and our needs are met as quickly as the supply chain allows. It is called, by those in the know, ‘frictionless digital living’. In such a world without friction what place is there for the art of anticipation, I wonder? What is the value of waiting in a world of instant gratification?
In the Christian tradition the season of Advent is the month of preparation before Christmas – not implying a preparation of food, cards and gifts, but a time of reflection, prayer, deeds of kindness, and eager expectation. It is a time to celebrate waiting as a normal part of human experience, that period of gestation and anticipation ahead of the celebration of new life.
The season of Advent can provide an alternative narrative to the pressures wrought by the consumerist messages that saturate this time of year. It can be a time that reminds us why we are waiting rather than complaining about waiting at all. Ten years ago Abbott Christopher Jamison spoke of putting the waiting back into wanting when he said, “In Advent we rejoice that we are waiting, that there is still time to prepare a way for the Lord and we celebrate the virtue of patience. By contrast, the consumer world tells us not to wait but to ‘buy now.’ Greed cannot wait, so to learn to wait is a simple antidote to greed.”