ADVENT: ARRIVAL, COMING…
For generations, Christians have engaged in the Advent season to prepare their hearts for the King who came to earth. Consider all Jesus stepped away from so He could step into our world to save us. He laid aside His robe, entered the womb of a teenaged virgin, and allowed Himself to be born in a place where animals rested. Jesus came. He came for us. Jesus walked the dusty roads of earth, He wept bitter tears over our lostness, and He died a criminal’s death, all for us. He loved us before we ever knew we needed loving. Jesus saved us before we ever knew we needed saving. He offers hope and healing and redemption to all who will come to Him, all who dare to believe that He indeed is the King of the Universe. He’s the Savior of the world.
He came the first time as a vulnerable baby, born into poverty, to show the world that there’s no one outside His capacity for love, no one that cannot come to Him if they so choose.
He came first as a baby, but He’s returning as King of kings and Lord of Lords, as God of Angel Armies. The whole world will recognize and acknowledge that He indeed is and always was who He said He was.
Never in my lifetime have I felt such an urgency and an expectancy around an Advent season. Jesus’ return is nearer than it’s ever been before.
If there was ever a time to be leaning in with a holy expectancy, it’s now.
Jesus said that it will be ‘as in the days of Noah’ when He returns. People will get drunk and party hard, utterly oblivious to the times they’re in.
Why do people do that?
So often, they’re numbing out, trying hard not to feel the pain they’ve been ignoring for so long. It’s heartbreaking when you think about it.
We’ve all walked through a lot in these past two years. We’ve all had losses and hurts and disappointments.
We’ve been disrupted by narratives that don’t always feel true or ring true.
What are we to do?
The temptation is to throw caution to the wind this holiday season and just have some fun for the next several weeks.
Nothing wrong with wanting to break free from the stresses of life and celebrate. It’s actually a very healthy and healing thing to do.
But there’s a big difference between decadent indulgence and a holy-and-divine celebration. It seems we have two options this holiday season:
Throw caution to the wind; overeat, overspend, overindulge; exit this year toxic and arrive at the following year lethargic, full of regret; with lots of lost ground to regain.
Or we can:
Enter this season with a sense of holy expectancy. We can create some time and space for God to speak to us, minister to us, and impart fresh revelation.
God has some things He wants to show you as you exit this year.
Baggage He wants you to leave behind.
There are some lies you picked up when life let you down.
Hurts in your heart that He wants to heal.
Vision and purpose that He wants to impart
You won’t experience any of that if you use this holiday season solely as an opportunity to numb out and not feel.
Jesus came to earth—right in the middle of all kinds of crisis, oppression, and evil intent. He came, and He’s coming again.
What if you approached this Advent season with a new sense of holy expectancy?
What if you dared to create some time and sacred space to meet with the living God?
What might He want to say to you?
What if you engaged your faith this Advent season? Decided to believe in the impossible? Prioritized essential things you know are necessary? And what if you dared to lift your requests before the Lord? Are you ready to dream again? It’s time for expectancy to make a comeback.
Step out of the hustle-bustle of the season. Find a quiet place to rest and reflect. What comes to the surface for you? How have your delays impacted you? Are you mad? Sad? Expectant and glad? Most of us tend to loosen our grip when we lose heart, yet this is precisely the time to lean in and engage your faith and to dare to believe once more. It takes great maturity to embrace holy contentment and holy expectancy simultaneously. Great things happen in the heart of one who holds fast to faith, peace, gratitude, mixed with an essential dose of expectant hope.