Christmas is almost here. As I drove up to Chicago yesterday, I had almost eight hours to myself, so I spent time listening to the Bible app and a sermon on Advent from The Village Church. It really helped me get into the mindset of Christmas and remember the true reason for the season.
If I'm honest, though, I haven't been as reflective this Advent as I wanted to be. I told myself when December hit that I'd do something special each day. I started the month listing to an Advent devotional, but doing so quickly faded away as the hustle and bustle of the season seemed to take over.
I have much to share in coming posts about all this month has held. But no matter what I’ve been up to or however distracted I may have felt, God is present. Christmas is His season. And without Jesus Christ, there is no Christmas.
This year, I’ve noticed more Christmas trees with stars on top, more Christmas cards for sale, more “Merry Christmas” greetings from sales clerks and toll booth operators and customer service folks over the phone. Have you noticed that, too? I think people—Americans on the whole—are ready for hope and revival. We are waiting for peace and joy, and the promise of our Savior come alive. We’re tired of the death, destruction, and rampant sin in this world. Whether we realize it or not, we need Jesus.
With Advent, we wait. We wait for the arrival of Christ, knowing that He has already come as a man, died as the spotless lamb, and risen for us so that we might have eternal life. During Advent, we remember what it was like for the world thousands of years ago, waiting on the hope of the Messiah—a baby born in a manger.
I’m blown away by how God orchestrated the birth of Jesus. He used Mary and Joseph, and He planned every detail of His coming. He used ordinary people with incredible obedience for His extraordinary purpose.
Do you stop to think God wants to do the same thing with us ordinary people today?
Most of us hate waiting. We’re almost always rushing toward something. (Maybe I’m only speaking for myself here.) Yet Scripture instructs us, both in the Old and New Testaments, to do that very thing: to wait.
We’re told to stay dependent on God, and He will honor our waiting. I’ve written before that waiting feels passive. Weak. Helpless. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. It’s one of the strongest and most courageous choices you can make.
Here’s the deal: We are all always waiting for something, whether it’s for a job or an apartment, for marriage or a baby. We will wait throughout our lives, ultimately waiting for the return of the kingdom or life beyond this one. Most of our life is waiting. Waiting means choosing to say every single day, Jesus is better.
Don’t forget: Our God is a Crock-Pot kind of guy. He’s not a microwave God. He is good and faithful. He fulfills His promises to us. But He works slowly—often much more slowly than we would like.
When you feel like God is moving slowly in your life, take heart. He does not delay His promise! His timing is perfect. He works in our waiting, and He is patient with us.
Advent reminds us of the beauty of waiting. God began telling His people about Jesus a full millennium and a half before His birth. God really was before all things, is in all things, and is the future of all things. He is making everything new, and His thread of redemption is woven throughout history.
The precious baby Jesus grew into the man who showed the world a new way, who died the death we deserve, and who rose again to offer redemption for all people! Christmas is the beginning of the story of Jesus, but Christmas continues with us. We wait in excited anticipation of His second coming or life eternal in the kingdom of heaven. We get to wait in the hope of the Gospel, knowing He is true and faithful. Thank you, Father, for sending Your Son! Thank you for preparing the way.
If you want to talk more about Jesus Christ and faith and what-the-heck-is-all-this-stuff, shoot me a message. I love meeting new people, whether virtually or in person, and gabbing about life.
And if you'd like to know more of my story, you can read my testimony here.
Truly, He makes beautiful things.