I’ve always loved December. Living in Australia, it’s summer, the end of the school year so we always had our long summer break over December/January. It’s also my birthday month and … it’s Christmas.
I still recall those days approaching Christmas when the presents used to begin to pile up under the tree. Most of them were for dad, he’s a doctor and all his patients bought him presents. Every year. But my sister and two brothers were more excited by what Santa would put in the pillow slips that sat at the end of our beds.
We’d struggle to sleep we were that excited. But mom always warned us that Santa wouldn’t arrive until we were fast asleep.
And then when we woke, far too early for mom and dad, we’d have to wait until they arose before we could open all the goodies in those magical pillowslips.
We had to wait.
The anticipation. The excitement … was electric.
A Year of Darkness
- Will live long in our memories. Mostly not for good reasons. But for the darkness that enveloped the world and continues to in so many countries.
And we’ve done a lot of waiting this year haven’t we? For test results, for lockdowns to cease, for vaccines to be produced, for election results to be finalized. And we still wait.
The season of Advent has commenced. Advent simply means: “coming” or “arrival” – of Jesus.
But as most of us know Jesus didn’t arrive without a long, long wait. Four hundred years in fact. That’s how long the Israelites had to wait. Jesus was born into a world of great darkness. Isaiah had prophesied, "the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death alight has dawned." (Matthew 4:16 referencing Isaiah 9:1-2)
The four-week season of Advent reflects a time of waiting. What, another season of waiting? Haven’t we waited enough this year?
We don’t like to wait, do we? If we didn’t know this before now, we sure do now.
“While God rarely comes at our appointed time, he comes at the right time.” (Louis Giglio)
In fact, we are experienced waiters. We wait for our spouses to come to know the Lord. How long, Lord?
We celebrate the coming of Jesus as a bub every year at Christmas, but we still wait on Him coming a second and final time. We live in Advent all the time.
Waiting for … Jesus.
Remember those days of childlike anticipation, the sense of wonder, on that day? Christmas Day.
Choose to Listen.
How are you feeling at the moment? Why not express it in the comments below. Get it out in writing. It’s healing.
May I encourage us all in these next few weeks to find some time to sit in the Lord’s presence. Share with Him how you're feeling in this season. And listen. Really listen. God wants to speak to us. No, it’s unlikely to be audible but He’s never stopped talking to us.
He’s coming. Jesus. For you. He’s especially chosen you. You who are holy and dearly loved.
One of the earliest recorded prayers of the Church is the Aramaic word, ‘Maranatha’. It simply means, ‘Come, Lord Jesus’ (Rev 22:20)
May I encourage you to simply pray that prayer, either the Aramaic or the English.
And wait. And listen.
Perhaps also read the story of when Mary received a very special and unusual visitor, Gabriel, in Luke 1:26-38. Let go of everything else that’s going on around you. Desire to hear from God and ask the Spirit to speak to you. Picture yourself in Mary’s place. Imagine the awesomeness of the situation, listen to Gabriel’s words and what they mean.
Write down what you heard, how you felt.
We’d love to hear some of your responses in the comments.
Wishing all of my SUMite friends a joyful Advent season full of childlike wonder and anticipation.