What are we waiting for?
by Dawn Aldrich
“But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior.” Micah 7:7
While we set aside lawn rakes for snow shovels, pumpkins for poinsettias we usher in the Advent season – the season of waiting and inward preparedness. But what exactly are we waiting for? And how do we prepare for it?
Are we awaiting a birthday celebration – the remembrance, the anniversary of the Christ child? Yes, in part. The incarnation of God’s love for mankind through Christ is certainly a divinely significant event to celebrate. Yet, if that’s all we celebrate – an anniversary- then we are left wanting after all the presents are unwrapped, the decorations torn down and put away. For what power does Christ’s birth have for us here and now without understanding the hidden cross inside his lowly manger on Christmas night as our hope of salvation and resurrection? (Watch for the Light, 2001 Orbis Books).
The First Advent – the birth of Christ – brought God’s kingdom from heaven to earth. And through Christ’s death, we gain salvation, adoption by God as heirs to his kingdom – the present and future. This future kingdom – when all heaven and earth passes away and Christ returns – this Second Advent – this is what we await with great expectation.
We wait and we prepare our hearts, first by remembering Christ’s humble birth and the hope hidden within him and through him and because of him. And secondly, we prepare our hearts as little children – ever hopeful, ever faithful, and ever watchful – for God’s light until it permeates and changes us.
This Christmas, what are you waiting for? Which traditions help prepare your heart for remembering the First Advent? Will you look at them differently in light of waiting for the Second Advent?