Advent - Waiting

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Advent, meaning “coming” or “arrival,” is the beginning of the Christian year and starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, November 30th this year. The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King. It is marked by the spirit of longing, expectation, and preparation. As Christians, we look back, forward, and inward during this period.

We look back to the Israelites who longed for God to fulfill his promise of salvation. We imagine what it was like to wait upon the Lord. During this season let’s thank God for sending his son into the world. We rejoice in the first coming.

We look forward as we anticipate the second coming of Christ. God fulfilled his promise to send a Savior, yet we still live in a broken world. We await the time when God will renew his creation in the second coming.

We look inward as we examine our lives and prepare our hearts for Christ. Advent is a time to renew our minds to his “good, pleasing, and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). This season is a reminder for us to long for God and to make him Lord of our lives.

The Advent season is one of waiting. The Christmas season is also a time of waiting – waiting in traffic, waiting in line, waiting for service, waiting at the airport, on and on. Life is full of waiting. We wait for a baby to arrive, for Mr. or Miss Right, for good news, and for the weather to change. And according to John Mayer’s lyrics, we’re “waiting on the world to change.” Waiting challenges me! Yet, it is through our waiting that our character is tested and shaped. Spiritual waiting is an even greater challenge. Waiting on God – whether we are waiting for answered prayer or the second coming – challenges our faith because we have absolutely no control over the timing.

This Advent as we wait to enjoy our favorite Christmas traditions, let’s also wait on the Lord to guide our thoughts, words, and actions. Let’s celebrate Christ’s presence in our lives by living a life of longing, expectation, and preparation for his return.

“Wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from him.” Psalm 62:5


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