Advent, a time of waiting
Advent is a season of waiting and preparing for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ the Son of God and Saviour of the world. As such, advent is a counter-cultural event.
These days society is not very good at waiting. I noticed this year in the retail sphere the “Black Friday” sales started before Black Friday. I imagine the same will happen to Christmas sales. Instant gratification. Instant access. It seems to me we live in a time where technological advances have eroded our ability to wait for good things to come in the future.
God is good at waiting and he waited a long time for Christmas. God the Father waited some 4000 years after He created the Earth before sending His Son Jesus to this world to be born of the virgin Mary. After Adam and Eve first sinned in the Garden of Eden and brought death and decay into the world God promised them that he would send them a victor over Satan who would be one of Eve’s male descendants. Then through the years God sent his prophets who prophesied the coming of a baby boy of the Jewish tribe of Judah and of the line of King David who would be born in Bethlehem. The boy would be completely human in every way but also fully God. By the power of God the Holy Spirit the virgin Mary conceived and bore Jesus some 2000 years ago. God’s wait was over and so was ours.
Jesus’ life reflected God’s nature and disposition toward all people. Jesus showed love for all yet not a love that dismissed sin, which is disobedience toward God’s commandments, as unimportant and irrelevant. Jesus showed God hates when we sin against him and against one another. Rather than sin Jesus calls us to love. And to show God’s love for you and me Jesus, the Son of God, willingly let himself die on the cross to suffer and pay for the sin of the world. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead by the power of God the Father shows God the Father accepted his Son’s sacrifice for our sin. Now the curse of sin has been removed and death no longer can keep those who trust in Christ from receiving a resurrection like the Lord’s. For this reason Christians wait eagerly in advent to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
Advent is a counter-cultural event. As you set up your Christmas tree and put out the decorations in your house you’re not only waiting to celebrate Jesus’ birth you’re also waiting for something even better that is still to come. As you prepare in advent for Christmas you are also waiting for the day when Jesus promised he will come again to this Earth to bring about it’s end and the beginning of God’s new creation of heaven and earth. Now in the days after Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection advent is also about waiting for heaven and life beyond death to come. That is worth waiting for.