The word “Advent” comes from the Latin referring to the anticipation of someone who is coming or arriving. And so the Advent season is about waiting and anticipating the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
While this is all well and good, most of us are not good at waiting—especially around Christmas time. In fact, this is the time of year when we seem to have no time to wait. There are simply too many things to get done before Christmas arrives—and so waiting turns into rushing.
There is something else we are not very good at because we do not understand it—and that is why God isn’t speedier when it comes to making right all that is wrong in our world today. Many Christians who anticipate a second coming of Jesus (his birth being his first coming) wonder if this time is drawing near given all the killings and global threats to humanity.
But through the centuries, waiting for God to act in his own time and according to his divine plan is nothing new. We are reminded about what it says in Hebrews about the persecution of the faithful though the years: “Some faced jeers and flogging, while others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they were put to death by the sword…the world was not worthy of them…These all were commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
In other words, these faithful Christians of who lived hundreds of years ago died waiting with God’s promises unfulfilled in their lifetimes. Why? Because God had something better planned—for them and for us—so that together we would receive all that God has promised (being made perfect) and more!
So, when you feel things can’t get any worse, remember that you are not the first to think this. And when you become impatient, remember that it’s not about you, but about what God has in mind. Above all else, keep on anticipating that something good is going to happen—just like it did some 2000 years ago in a little town called Bethlehem—and revel in that!
Merry Christmas everyone!