Advent. The Coming. The long-awaited coming of the Messiah.
Each year we celebrate this season of waiting for the arrival of the King with expectation. It’s half-part remembrance; half-part practice. He has come and He is coming again.
Contrary to cultural norms, Advent is not about preparing for ‘Christmas.’ It’s easy to let it become so. Too easy to make the waiting about what we will get on Christmas, rather than celebrating with worship the arrival of the One who gave of Himself. Rather, we are to be preparing for Christ.
So much of the Christmas narrative speaks for today. Like silly Bethlehemians our lives are stuffed full with preparation of the wrong things. They prepared for the census, the counting of people, failing to prepare for the One who would count not men’s sin against them. Their lives were over-stuffed with the temporary. There was no room for presence of the Eternal One. So very much like us.
Advent isn’t a passive waiting. It’s a throwing open of the closet, and heart, doors to clear out the clutter. To clean off cobwebs from ceremonial candles whose light has been coveted by the dark, lifeless places. It’s sweeping, and shuffling, and making space. Making space for an extraordinary visitor. Extraordinary because He’s really no visitor at all—He is family. The One whose presence finally puts our hearts at home.
He has come and He is coming again. Advent reminds us to not only wait for Him while we go about preoccupied and distracted. No, we’re to wait expectant and ready.
I’m not good at waiting. It seems that something about my missing Y chromosome has disrupted my waiting capacity. This Advent season I will be meditating on Mary’s waiting. She learned the secret of turning waiting into worship; that too is my Advent desire. I want to borrow her hope. Embrace her joy. Participate in her faith-filled confidence. I want to sing her song until it becomes mine own. I’ll share my meditations here, because the other desire I have for this Advent season is to wait with others. When Christ came, He came not only for me, but us. When He comes again, He will not only come for me, but us. It is only fitting for the preparation of His coming to be waited out together, with those for whom He comes.
I’m keeping Advent simple this year—so life has space to anticipate His coming. I want to be found eagerly waiting at the window noticing the first hint of his arrival appearing on the horizon. My prayer is that upon that arrival my heart will be overflowing with hope, joy, and faith, and that my living room will be filled with the laughter, longings, and love of those with whom I am so happy I am graced to wait.
“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.” ~Isaiah 9:2
How will you prepare for His coming this Advent season?