How does “expectant waiting” shape every season of life?
Traditionally, the season of advent is marked by expectant waiting. In anticipation of the Christmas holiday, we remember the centuries that passed awaiting the Messiah’s birth. We simultaneously acknowledge our current anticipation of Christ’s return. Advent is where we find strength in God’s covenant faithfulness.
This advent season has included an additional element of “expectant waiting” for us. 2022 will be the official launch of the Church we were called here to start. We have guidelines and goals for how we think things are going to progress; but, much like the generations prior to Jesus’ birth, we know very few details about how God is moving in the process. And, like all our Christian brothers and sisters today, our ultimate hope is that Christ will return before we ever hold a public worship gathering!
The themes of hope, peace, love and joy are speaking into our hearts this advent season. It’s been over 2000 years since the first Christmas and almost that long since Christ’s followers began expectantly awaiting his Return. The next ten months are relatively short compared to how Gods’ plans tend to unfold. In the waiting, we are praying this whole year is filled with hope, peace, love and joy.
The advent themes are simple to label and difficult to practice. Hope is hard when facing an uncertain future. Peace can be illusive when things are unstable. Love gives way to anger and apathy if things aren’t progressing. And joy gets extra slippery when expectations go unmet.
We are experiencing hope, peace, love and joy to varying degrees as we launch this new church. Advent isn’t just a Christmas season or Launch Phase experience. Advent is the expectant waiting of all nations and peoples for the return of our Promised Messiah, and the fullness of His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. May all Christ followers be marked by hope, peace, love and joy in every season, not just a couple weeks before a holiday.