Hi, welcome back to Beyond the Pew and welcome to Advent! This is one of my favorite seasons in the Church year. It’s a time of hope, a time of waiting, and a time of expecting the Lord to come. So we’re celebrating the Lord coming as a baby. We’re celebrating the Lord coming in a new way into our hearts this Christmas. We’re also preparing for His second coming!
I don’t know if you’re a baseball fan, but about a month ago everyone in the world was a baseball fan. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series after a 108 year drought from the last time they won the World Series. Let’s put that into perspective. Cars were barely a thing the last time they won the World Series. It was really cool as a sports fan because there were millions of people watching this baseball game. We were excited for this team to win this World Series! All the fans, the players, the owner, and all of the people who have been waiting for all of their life and then knowing that their predecessors had waited for 108 years for this to happen… It was just fun to watch and very exciting. That was right before Advent started and I was looking at it saying, “Okay, they were waiting for about 108 years. We are about to enter into this season of waiting.”
We’re celebrating the Lord coming in a new way into our hearts this Christmas.
I looked at this and thought about who else waited for a long time. The Israelites waited quite a while for Jesus to come the first time. In the beginning of the Bible, in Genesis, Adam and Eve were in the garden in perfect unity with God and walked with God. You know the story. They sinned and were kicked out of the garden. God explained to them the consequences of their actions, but He promised them in Genesis 3 that He would send someone who would crush the serpent’s head and bring them back to this unity they had with Him in the garden. The whole story of the Old Testament is the story of the Israelites waiting and hoping, anticipating this King coming! Abraham was an old man who was promised a son and descendants, and he had to wait for that promise to be fulfilled. Noah was told that there was going to be a flood and he had to prepare and get ready by building a boat, gathering animals, and then for those 40 days he had to wait and trust. He had to be patient.
Hope is a confident expectation based on trust in God.
So what does this hoping look like for us in Advent? The definition of hope is a confident expectation based on trust in God. This contrasts with what we think about hope. “Oh, I hope I get an A on my test.” “I hope for this job promotion.” But hope in the Christian sense is confidently wanting something to happen or asking something to happen. So when we say we hope in the Resurrection, we are confident and expecting that Jesus will come back again. We are confident and expecting that when we ask Jesus to come into our heart, He will.
[tweetthis]We are confident and expecting that when we ask Jesus to come into our heart, He will. #advent[/tweetthis]
Hope is an active word. This Advent season isn’t just a time of “Oh, I guess we’ll just wait for 20 something days until Jesus comes at Christmas.” It’s a time of preparation, a time of prayer, and like a small Lent. It’s a time to re-dedicate ourselves to prayer and to our relationship with Christ.
The image I want you to have for this Advent is not of hope like being in a parked car. “I hope God leads me closer to Him” and then keeping that parking brake on with our foot on the brake. We need to work towards Him and be active in our hope. Take the parking brake off. Take your foot off the brake and start moving. Trust and expect that He will lead you in the right way this Advent.
So, until next week I hope that you have a great Advent and we will see you again on Beyond the Pew!