"Advent is the season of
It reminds us that God comes into lives in unexpected ways and that the
birth of Christ in our lives is messy and
-- Caryll Houselander
coming Sunday marks the first Sunday of Advent.
steady countdown is underway-shops waiting for
customers; children waiting for their Christmas
gifts; parents waiting for their mail-orders; and
many folk waiting with dread the loneliness of the day
long before it arrives.
experience various forms of waiting. But Advent-the
"coming"-reminds us that our most profound wait is not
for December 25 but for God Himself.
announcement to Mary launched a pregnancy that would
provoke nine months of pondering and wondering, followed
by a birth that seemed far too humble for the Son of
God. The newborn babe would hardly change the world in
that form. It would be many years before Jesus taught
the crowds, healed the sick, and endured the Cross.
Meanwhile, Israel suffered and languished under Roman
our hurry-up world where we need everything yesterday,
the idea of waiting for the Lord's timing seems
tough-especially when we face a penniless Christmas, a
jobless New Year, or a sickness that is consuming us.
Why would He not work as quickly as we want Him to? Why
would He delay when our need is so urgent? Why doesn't
He share our haste for
want Him to come quickly and act even more quickly. But
He rarely does.
determines His coming in His own time, and while we
chaff under His apparent slowness, He will not be
hurried. And Advent, perhaps more than any other season
of the year, insists that we be unhurried too.
We may cry
out, groan, weep, demand, accuse, and even grow bitter,
but our rush for resolution usually results from
spiritual mopia; our inability to see the big
"He is coming"-not when we expect Him but when He can
best accomplish His purpose within our life. Advent
declares "He is coming"-not when we demand Him but when
we yield to Him. Advent declares "He is
We can rest
assured that when He comes He always does so with
salvation. We can live with confidence that His promises
do not fail. Advent beckons us to wait, watch, trust,
and believe, not for a particular day but with a
particular certainty: God is with
year, may we also make Advent our personal
promise-our coming to
In HOPE --