We are now gathering at 14380 Burnhaven Dr. All are welcome to our worship service at 10 AM. 

What to Expect

What to Expect

What to Expect

Advent: A Season of Waiting

advent image

Waiting is a hard thing—a discipline that takes a lifetime of practice and reminders.  And as a parent to young children, I have to constantly remind my girls to be patient. Their relentless questions and demands in turn require a patient and gracious response.  And of course, children seem to be the neediest when I’m in the middle of a task requiring dedicated focus. “Just wait,” I reply. “I’ll be there soon.”

Recently, I’ve been asked what Advent is. People have a general idea that it is connected to the Christmas season. The English word “advent” is from the Latin adventus, meaning “arrival” or “coming.”[1] At its core, advent is a season of waiting. We remember and celebrate the thousands of years that God’s people waited for the promised Messiah to come. Each year during Advent we remember the people of God who waited centuries for the coming of the promised Messiah to rescue them. They had God’s promises: a “seed of the woman” who would crush the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15; Rom. 16:20), a prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:15, 18; Acts 3:22; 7:37), a priest from the order of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4; Heb. 5:4–6; 7:11–17), a son David and heir to his throne (Is. 9:7; Matt. 1:1; 22:42) who would be greater than David, as his Lord (Ps. 110:1). For centuries, the people of God waited.[2]

1 Peter 1:10-12 is a great description of the past aspect of Advent.

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who prophesied about the grace that would come to you, searched and carefully investigated. 11They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified in advance to the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you. These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.[3]

We not only look back to the advent of Jesus in the incarnation, but we also look forward to his second coming. The church lives in the time between advents. “Advent contains within itself the crucial balance of the now and the not-yet that our faith requires… This disappointment, brokenness, suffering, and pain that characterize life in this present world is held in dynamic tension with the promise of future glory that is yet to come. In that Advent tension, the church lives its life”[4] We celebrate Advent all year, not just at Christmas time. God is working, and the church must be patient and learn to wait.

It’s been said that Advent is a season of minor chords. “O Come, O Come, Immanuel” is a great example. As we wait, we remember the centuries of longing and yearning for the one who would come to bring light and hope. This waiting produces joy and gratitude for Jesus that deepens and enriches our souls. We continue to long and yearn for Jesus’s second coming. Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection changed the shape of our waiting and hope. The church’s hope and anticipation intensifies as we await Jesus’ return. “Then, on Christmas Day, those minor chords break into the bright, festive major chords of “Joy to the World,” resolving the tension of ages past, even as they point us to the second coming for which we hope.”[5]

 

[1]Mathis, David, The Christmas We Didn’t Expect: Daily Devotions for Advent (City, XX: The Good Book Company) 5.

[2]Mathis, David, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/this-advent-will-change-you, accessed Nov 27, 2021. 

[3]Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020), 1 Pe 1:10–12.

[4]Rutledge, Fleming Advent: The Once & Future Coming of Jesus Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 7.

[5]Mathis, David, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/this-advent-will-change-you, accessed Nov 27, 2021.