I have only observed Advent a few times in my life. It isn’t a tradition that I grew up. with However this year at The Bridge, we are engaging with Advent on Sundays in the lead up to Christmas. This year, the idea of observing Advent has grabbed my heart unlike other years. The idea of Advent is about waiting for the birth of Jesus It speaks of having anticipation and expectations of what is to come.
I hate waiting period. I hate waiting in a queue whether its in a store or at an amusement park. Waiting speaks of the need of having patience. However I am reminded how often times in life the good things are worth the wait. For example, I have waited for what seems a long time in order to meet the girl of my dreams. I have found the girl of my dreams and we got married I can honestly say that she is one of the best things to ever happened in my life looking back, it was well worth the wait.
I used to think that waiting often times involves standing or sitting there and doing nothing until the big moment arrived. I have come to the realisation that in all those years I was looking for the right girl to marry, I was not yet ready for a life long commited relationship with my girl. I’m not saying that we can be 100% ready for we are all always growing but I haven’t reached that stage in my life where I can maturely commit myself to a relationship and make a lasting commitment to make it work. I discovered that in my waiting, I was in the process of becoming the right person for my wife. In the waiting process, I was slowly but surely becoming a mature person and becoming a responsible adult in all that it entails. I guess you could say that I was doing prep work for the big moment when Vickie came into my life.
Before Jesus was born, there was a guy called John the Baptist who spent his life prepping people for the big moment when the long awaited Saviour would come into the world. He prepared people by announcing the kingdom of God is at hand and called them to repentance and be baptised in water. Those who heard John’s message prepared themselves for the big moment by following his instructions and become the right people by geting ready for the big moment when Jesus would arrive on the scene.
A lot of us are waiting for something. We all have hopes and dreams that we are waiting to see come pass Some of us are waiting for God’s promises for our lives to come to pass. For some of us it seems like we have been waiting forever and while the rest of us have just joined the queue. Over and over I am encouraged when Scripture tells us how our hope is not in vain because God is always faithful, true, reliable and he nevers goes back on his word. Psalm 40:31 encourages us that ‘…those who hope [wait] in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’ In other words, those who wait upon the Lord will become strong and become all that God desires them to be as a result of waiting.
Waiting is the process of becoming the right person for God, ourselves and others around us. I often wonder what would have happened if Jesus came onto the scene way too early when people were not prepared for his big arrival. Today some of us are waiting for Jesus’ return. We do not know when Jesus will return but we wait regardless preparing ourselves – by becoming all that God has called us to be – for that moment we enter heavenly bliss.
Advent for me this year is about preparing myself by becoming the right person by emptying myself and being filled with the life changing presence of Jesus so I can make Jesus’ love a flesh and blood a reality in ways that can transform my world and the world of those around me through my words and actions.
This is from the Advent Conspiracy website which I highly recommend checking out:
Welcome to Advent Conspiracy.
The story of Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.
So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.
And when it’s all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?
What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?