“Are we there yet?”
“Has it arrived?”
“Where is it?”
“Is it finished yet?”
“Just a little longer”
Are these phrases familiar to you? These are especially common phrases used at this time of year. We, young and old, use these phrases when we are waiting for something exciting, fun and/or special to happen or arrive. Sometimes the phrases slip out when we get tired of waiting, but they are a sign that we are looking forward to what is ahead. Why keep asking if we don’t care about it!
Advent is all about learning to wait with expectant hope for God’s promises to arrive in our lives. Jesus’ arrival the first time, the first Christmas 2000 years ago, fulfilled God’s promise of a Savior for his people. His arrival provided a reconciliation between us and God so that we could once again be with God forever. This relationship provides us with hope of a future, peace through forgiveness, joy in His forever presence, and the unsurpassing love of our creator. All of these gifts provide us the means to continue to wait expectantly for Jesus 2nd coming as King and judge.
It is not always easy to wait with expectant hope. The world around us is full of confusion, pain and suffering. Our own lives can be filled with many distractions around the things closest to us like work and relationships. It can be easy to turn our eyes away from our source of hope and focus instead on the troubles surrounding us.
This is one of the reasons that observing the season of Advent can be so helpful in grounding us in the centrality of our relationship with God. Just as John the Baptist, in last Sunday’s Gospel called the people to repent of their sins for the Kingdom is at hand, we need to repent or turn back our focus on Jesus and what it means to wait expectantly for His return.
Spending extended time in His word helps us focus on him as our source of answers, our source of strength, and our source of hope. Suddenly the difficulties surrounding us are no longer as pressing as we see them through a different filter. We are no longer the source of all strength and all answers. The Lord is. The Lord, knows us intimately inside and out, and loves us more then we can believe sometimes. God’s promises are real, and we can trust him that they will be fulfilled. If we take some extra time and spend it with Him, He will gently remind you of the hope, peace, joy and love that are found in a relationship with Him.