Saturday, 3 December 2011

Advent - Part 2

During Advent we reflect with anticipation, excitement and hope on the coming of the Messiah. We contemplate the birth narratives of the gospels and the expectation of the Jewish people longing for Messiah. What must life have been like for them? What did the coming of Messiah mean for them? What does the coming of Jesus mean for me and for my family and community (local and global)? We look at areas in our own lives where we are in need of Jesus to presence himself and bring light and hope. We look at the world we live in and its brokenness and need of the Divine Saviour. We smile confidently rather than despair. There is hope. There is a new chapter that had begun, is beginning and will take place.

However we wait.

We wait.

Still waiting.

Yep even now, still waiting.

Waiting isn’t something we are always good at. Advent is about pregnant expectancy. As glamorous as that might sound and as exciting as it might be to have a new baby on the way (we’re counting down to the arrival of our third), pregnancy is full on. Ask any mum!

Morning sickness, aches and pains, hard to breath, hard to get around, hard to carry on with life, tired, exhausted, emotional and so on. Yet a mum pushes on with a smile on her face.

Often that’s what our waiting in life is like, we’re confident, we’re smiling, we have hope, but... When’s this going to end? How much longer do I have to wait? I feel terrible, Jesus where are you? I need you now! This world needs you now!

Advent though encourages us not to shy away from this waiting but rather to be still, to be at peace, to trust God in the midst of our waiting. We don’t wait hopelessly though. We wait knowing that Christmas is coming.

-          Waiting slows us down

-          Waiting gives us time and space to gain perspective

-          Waiting helps us to discriminate between the good, the better and the best

-          Too easy to go through live without pausing. To caught up in life that without realising it we’re all of a sudden following the wrong star.

-          Christmas becomes about consumables, candy canes, stocking fillers, over indulgence, a fat man in a red suit – all those things we love and we lose sight of ‘Christ with us.’

-          Same can happen in life, we go so fast, move so quickly from one thing to the next that we forget that this life is about so much more than this life.

-          If we do not learn to wait, we can allow ourselves to assume that one thing really is as good as another. Just not the case.

Advent, when we engage in the season, relieves us of our commitment to the frenetic fast-paced norms of our world.
It slows us down. It makes us think. It makes us look beyond today to the great ‘tomorrow’ of life, where Jesus restores all things and there are no more tears, pain, or heartache.
And while we wait we remember we are invited to work towards that end!
We’re not to get caught up in the pursuit of chocolate Santa’s, socks, undies, candy canes and i-presents, but rather the pursuit of justice and peace.
We’re to get caught up in the story of Jesus and the mission of Jesus in the world. Allowing that story to reframe the story of our lives.

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