Advent is here, the beginning of the church year. While all the stores, radio and television channels become all about Christmas way too early, we take a step back from the Christmas rush to prepare and ponder what it means for our broken world to wait for a Savior. For us, the birth of Jesus is not an afterthought. The birth of Christ is the beginning of the Good News that “God is with us”. John 1:14 tells us “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” With the weight of all that is happening in the world, we sorely need grace and truth that comes from Jesus. Through Jesus, we find that we are loved by God and we are called to a greater purpose be God’s light in the world. This love is meant to be shared with the world and bring redemption. Advent is the season we celebrate and prepare for the Good News found in Jesus.
We celebrate advent using several colors. In some traditions, the color of Advent is blue as a symbol of hope and Jesus’ royalty. In other traditions purple and rose symbolize the coming Kingdom and the need for repentance as we hear from John the Baptist and Jesus: “Repent for the Kingdom is at hand.” Both are true. Jesus brings hope, but he also reminds us that God comes to shake things up in our lives.
We celebrate Advent not just to remember the hope of God’s people waiting for Jesus long ago, but also as God’s people who wait for Jesus to come again now. We are still waiting!
It was around this time two years ago that Community Lutheran was searching and preparing for a new pastor. What were they feeling? What were their hopes and dreams? What would change? While they waited, I was going through some of my own preparation; wondering and waiting as Caitlin and I thought about our future in a new place with new people.
I invite you to reflect upon a time of waiting in your life. What was it like to anticipate change? How might that be similar to us as we wait for Jesus? While we wait for Jesus, know the Holy Spirit is with us and beside us, guiding and preparing all of us.
This year I chose the theme is Waiting for Jesus: Faith, Hope, and Love for my weekly devotional teaching. What does it mean to wait in Faith, Hope, and Love?
As I begin thinking about a new year, lots of things pop in my head. A year full of possibility something planned other things have yet to even be thought of. God is calling us to new adventures and down a few paths untrodden and unknown. We are reminded that Jesus Christ comes to us as Emmanuel “God with Us.” Let us rest in this promise.
I hope that this Advent and Christmas, Christ makes himself known to you in a meaningful way. Have a happy and blessed celebration here in our community and with your family.