I don't know about you, but I am ready for Advent. I am ready for a change. I am ready for a season. I am ready for something new. Ordinary time, as great as it is, can get really long, especially towards the end. Which makes it nice to have a theme to lean into. Thank goodness for this time of year.
Advent starts tomorrow. It is the season of watching and waiting and longing for the coming of the Christ into this dark and broken world. It is the time of year where we embrace the here and now, long for what is not yet, and hope for what is to come.
In the here and now, we embrace the fact that God is always present (Ps. 139:7-12), always at work (John 5:17), even when we cannot yet see what that work may be. He has not abandoned us. He is with us in ways we cannot imagine or conceive. And not only is he with us, but he is working in us. He knows how fruitful the practice of waiting can be when it comes to the life of the Spirit. Advent calls us to embrace this waiting. It calls us to be fully present in the here and now as we wait, even if we cannot yet tell exactly what God is up to.
And not only does Advent call us to embrace the here and now, but it also calls us to long for the not yet. This one is not hard. Each of us has a deep desire for all things to be as they were created to be. In the midst of the pain and brokenness around us, and within us, we are invited to long (even groan) for all things to be as they were intended. Wholeness was the creation intent, and to wholeness will all things return. Yet, in the meantime, in the not yet, all we can do is long for the day and the time when it will be a reality.
And finally, there is what is to come: the new heavens and the new earth. The time of no more tears or sorrow or pain. The time when God will be our God and we will be his people . . .fully. It will happen. It is not a question of if but a question of when. And it is this hope that gives us the life and the energy, and the urgency, to live the way God wants us to live. It helps us to be strong and courageous; to be faithful and never lose heart.
So bring it on. I'm so ready. I am ready to watch and wait and long and hope. I am ready to embrace the here and now, to long for the not yet, and to hope for that which is to come. Thanks be to God.