An Introduction to Advent

photo-1479091792771-cdb6e8b16ed6There are ways to get me excited about things. Mention chocolate, Survivor, sleeping in, a park playdate. Tell me about a great new novel or a gluten free restaurant and I’m all yours.

Here’s how to lose me: talk about waiting.

Waiting is the WORST, isn’t it?

If something is good, let’s get on with it.

If something is bad, let’s get it over with.

Yet God seems to like waiting. It seems that there is work he would have us do in the waiting.

Why else would nearly all of us go through dating heartbreak before finding “the one”? Why would pregnancy last nine months? Why would Scripture go four centuries between the close of Malachi and the beginning words of Matthew?

(And while we’re at it, why on earth is Jesus taking so long to come back? Can’t he see that things are a bit of a mess down here?)

We–and I mean pretty much all of us–are bad at waiting.

So every year, twice a year, God teaches his church the lessons of waiting once again. These holy seasons are Lent and Advent, and Advent begins this Sunday. A whole month–four weeks–dedicated to waiting.

Blech, amirite?

Or maybe not?

Generally when Christians have practiced something for millennia, it’s worth at least taking a second look at why. 

Advent is a season of holy longing, of spiritual preparation to welcome Jesus anew on Christmas day. It’s an opportunity to practice stillness amidst the chaos of consumerism, materialism, and frenetic December activities. It’s a time to wait with Mary and Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth, the shepherds and angels and wise men, for the newborn king.

It’s also a season of waiting for the second coming of Jesus, when he comes again in glory and power to set all things right.

Now that I can get behind.

In that spirit, I’ll be featuring 10-Minute Devotions each day on this blog themed around the Scriptures of Advent. Some written by me, others written by friends and colleagues. All will seek to explore the question:

Where is God in the waiting?

I invite you to pour your coffee, put in your headphones to drown out the noise of your commute, or tuck in your kids in for the night, and then still your heart with us as we wait for Jesus.

The light is coming.



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