Advent is a word that refers to the coming of something. It denotes a sense of anticipation of an arrival. Traditionally and liturgically the season of advent is linked to the Christmas story and the arrival of Jesus.
The people of God were longing. Their prophets and scriptures told of a promised ruler. And while they had seen many great works of their God, their faith waxed and waned like the moon. Their trials and triumphs were punctuated by the presence of their God, but then there was silence. The voice that spoke through Moses and sang through David was reduced to mere echoes.
The people were left with prophecies and promises and so, they waited. They waited in anticipation of the arrival. They were a people of Advent.
Today, we have our own longings. We await many things. A season to end or a new season to begin. An answer. Some long for justice. Some for healing. Some for Pirates baseball to become relevant again. Once again, we are a people of Advent. And as we wait, we can turn to the liturgy of the season, not simply to get us through, but to get the most out of the waiting as we prepare for the arrival.
VERSE: Isaiah 9:6-7
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
Prayer: O God of the advent people, join with us as we wait. Sit with us in our darkness and help us as strain to hear the echoes of your promises. Help us to not rush ahead, but to be present with you where you have us. Give us soft hearts that allow us to love the longing.