Have you ever been around a child while he or she is waiting on someone he/she loves to arrive?
If you have, chances are you have been asked multiple times when that person is arriving, watched that child restlessly busy himself, and prayed for both patience and for that person to hurry up and get here already.
The Lord used my 6-year-old nephew, Landon, to teach me about Advent recently.
Landon loves my husband Ben. Uncle Benji is on a high pedestal in Landon’s eyes, and anytime we are planning to see Landon, my sister tells me how he’s asked all day long about when his uncle will arrive.
This last time was a little different. As usual, Ben played with Landon, making him laugh and grow wide-eyed with childlike adoration, as if nothing else in the world mattered. After we’d spent time together, we all said our goodbyes with downcast faces, big hugs, and saddened hearts. But about twenty minutes later, my sister text me to let me know that Landon was looking for Ben.
He knew we had left, not coming back, yet when she asked the little guy what he was doing, he said, “I’m watching for Uncle Benji.”
As my heart grew tender, the Lord began to show me that waiting for Christ’s return wasn’t a matter of duty or of law. No, waiting for the day when we see our King face to face comes naturally as we spend time with Him, grow in knowledge of Him, and experience love, awe, and adoration, in our relationship with Him now.
Advent season is upon us.
But if you’re unsure as to what that means or why that matters, the potential treasures of it will have little effect upon your heart.
Advent literally means “a coming into place, view, or being; arrival.” When used by Christians, Advent refers to “the coming of Christ into the world” and “to the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world.”
We are entering a season where we, along with the church in generations past, intentionally engage the angst that God’s people felt for centuries as they waited for their Savior to arrive. From the outset of creation, our God was on a rescue mission to redeem those whom He knew would rebel against Him. And as we enter the pages of Scripture during this season, we re-live that wondrous story of redemption, a story that involves a God rich in mercy and grace, willing to condescend to clothe Himself in His own creation, and enter a world thick with sin to reconcile sinners to Himself.
We re-live it because it’s the story of our lives.
As the pages of Scripture unfold, God reveals a glimpse into His plan here and a peek at what His promised Messiah would be like there, but on the whole throughout the Old Testament, the mystery of how He’d redeem His people from sin is kept hidden. It’s not until Christ is revealed that the riches of the gospel expose the magnificence of glorious plan.
And we, God’s people on this side of Christ’s coming, have the privilege of looking back and unlocking the pictures and foretastes of Christ laid out for us in the Old Testament.
And as we do, we find our hearts beating with awe. We grow in wonder and adoration over the God who did not forsake His rebellious people, nor waver in His steadfast love towards us. We experience depth in our relationship with Christ as we understand more of the riches of the gospel painted for us throughout the Old Testament. And as we experience even a small portion of the longing God’s people felt for the dawning of the Light that would give life to the world, the natural response of our hearts is a welling of love that compels us to long for His coming again.
So Advent provides us with an opportunity – to deepen our relationship with the God of the universe who humbled Himself, born in the likeness of those whom He would redeem. To grow in awe of the God who is high and holy, yet associates Himself with the outcast and the lowly. And to experience through the revealing of the riches of the gospel, His matchless, steadfast, saving love for His people.
And if we partake in this opportunity, we’ll find that the natural response of our hearts as we grow in these ways is a life lived yearning for the day when we will see Him face to face.
Would you join us this season by intentionally partaking in Advent? The season officially begins Sunday, November 27th this year! To help you grow in childlike wonder and deep love for our Savior, we’ve created a Bible reading plan, This, this is Christ the King, that spans the pages of Scripture, narrating the story of redemption and unveiling the riches of Christ throughout the Old Testament.
This 14-page digital download PDF includes a calendar of daily Scripture readings, questions to help you engage in study, two writings to guide you to both prepare and reflect well this season, suggested worship songs, Scripture memory cards, and two full color/hand-lettered designs that can double as 8x10” prints.
We rejoice at the thought of your growing in love for our Savior, and we desire nothing more than that He’d get glory and that you’d experience the matchless peace and joy that He gives as we spend our lives worshiping Him.
grace & peace,