What has to be said about Advent is it’s never gonna be what we expect. We have no idea what to expect. We can’t even conceive of what heaven is like, or the Messiah, or the real presents of this holy season – not the ones under the tree. How can we know Advent or God?
At first, it won’t be obvious. You know how you look for your keys and they’re right in front of you, or your glasses and they’re on top of your head? Or your phone and you’re talking into it? Advent is like that. It’s supposed to be a quiet time of reflection and peaceful anticipation. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a quiet Advent yet and I’m more than halfway through my life (if I make it to 120 years old, like scientists tell us we can nowadays). I keep looking for it, though.
Looking and waiting
And there, if you’re looking, it shows up when you l
east expect it. It’s preceded by a lot of waiting. Oh, we never like that. If you’re looking or listening, and you keep your heart alert – expectant – it shows up. Like love at the oddest times. Even if you don’t think you’re looking anymore. Even if you’ve shut your heart down and given up. Because the heart has a very deep well of hope. Because our hearts are modeled after God Who hopes eternally that we’ll turn to Him one day.
It’s the little ones…
The little ones tickle the adults’ set lips into grins as we work through the stress of getting ready for the holiday. They tire us chasing after them and teaching them manners and keeping them from trouble or hurting themselves. But God never tires. He chases us, tries to teach us, and saves us from trouble? I can’t answer that one for I seem to get myself in it all the time. But Jesus came as a little one and promised to be with us always. I cling to that promise and believe it. I know it is true. Jesus doesn’t lie. He can’t. He’s Truth. And Love. And the Way through Advent.
Each day, I begin anew, waiting with expectant hope and a prepared heart.
Give us patience as we wait, O Lord. Help us forgive what holds us in bitter pain. Help us grieve our losses and accept your joy. We aren’t used to its taste. Come soon. We need You.