Can you remember what it’s like as a child when you open the first window of your advent calendar? You feel the thrill of the start of the countdown to Christmas as you discover what’s behind the first window. It is a magical part of childhood, a really wonderful time, but then there’s the other 23 windows, 24 days, three and a half weeks, urgh, you sigh, Christmas still feels such a long way off.
Recapturing that sense of waiting is vital in this generation of instant gratification. We wait for very little today. If we want the latest gadget we buy it. If you want some new music or a movie or e-book, it’s only a click away on the internet. Even traffic lights seem an inconvenience to people in a rush. Why can’t we wait for a minute and a half for the lights to turn green? Is it because we’ve forgotten how to wait?
Advent is about watching and waiting. God’s ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:12). God is patient (Nehemiah 9:30). Advent is about waiting on the Lord. We wait for his advent, the second advent of Christ, when he will return as triumphant King and judge of all. And as we wait, God works in his people by his Word and Spirit to transform his children into his likeness.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7
This Christmas, then, will you try to recapture what it means to wait? Don’t let the need to rush into self-fulfilling, self-gratifying consumption of gadgets, toys, food and drink dominate you this season. We rush to pour these things into our thirsty, starving souls but our souls are made to wait upon the Lord. So, this advent, let him satisfy your heart. As we rest in Christ and wait for his coming may he satisfy our deepest needs.
May God bless us and keep us in Christ this Christmas