Before this morning (when I looked it up) I would have said it was “the time before” or “a time of waiting.”
But there’s more to it than that. The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives this definition (when not capitalized): a coming into being or use such as <the advent of pasteurization> or <the advent of personal computers>.
While we are waiting for something that’s coming, do we just sit around twiddling our thumbs? Or do we prepare for what is surely coming?
- Think deeply about what the future will hold. What will this event change in our society? What will it mean for me personally in my family, my job, my town?
- How can I get on board? Buy stock? Develop and put a crucial cog in the process into use? Change my focus now to be ready for what’s coming?
The four Sundays before Christmas–Advent–is a time when Christians pray and wait for the promised “coming into being” of the Savior, the Messiah, the Christ-Child.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17 (NLT)
The advent of Easter–Lent–is a time when Christians pray and wait for the promised death of our sins when God’s son took them all on himself and took our punishment. But there’s more to it than that. He didn’t stay dead. He conquered death and now we can live a resurrected life–our sins are paid for, forgiven, and we are “coming into being” as we walk more and more in Jesus’ footsteps.
God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating. Colossians 1:13-14 (MSG)
There’s still more. Our whole lives are lived in advent–“coming into being”–while we wait for the promised second coming of our Lord and King.
And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. Matthew 24:30-31 (NLT)
If we are living in a time of advent, of waiting, of coming into being–what should we be doing? I can hear your sigh–another thing to add to my never-ending to-do list? How am I going to find time for that?
Chill. It’s really a de-stresser, not a stress producer. It’s how you think, not more to do. It’s taking quiet moments, not adding frantic activity.
STOP (your frenetic pace).
LOOK (for God’s presence in your life right now–He’s always with you).
LISTEN (for his still small voice–you need to be quiet to hear it).
Did that take 30 seconds? A minute? Two minutes? Try to focus on Him seven times today. And tomorrow. And the next four weeks as we are waiting.
And see what “comes into being.”
Thanks to Pastor Kevin Korver for being God’s spokesperson yesterday as he took us through Matthew 24:36-44.