Saturday, December 3, 2011

Waiting for Immanuel

Just about a week ago was the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the Church year. The Sundays of Advent are marked by both remembering and anticipation. The church remembers God humbling himself by taking on human flesh. We remember a teenage girl submitting herself to be used by God for this purpose. And we recognize that all of this was for our sake.

But we also look forward. After all, Christ told his disciples that he would return to finish what was begun with Advent and Easter. Thus, the church waits expectantly for Christ’s promised return.

Some churches get so caught up in the Christmas season that no mention is made of the anticipatory aspect of Advent. But whether your church pays attention to the church year or not, whether they speak of Advent as waiting and not just for the celebration of Christ’s first return, but for promised second coming, all one need do is look around to realize that Christ’s return is everything we long for.

Within the past two weeks, I have cried with friends and family who are dealing with injuries, cancer, depression, divorce, and near-suicide. Each piece of news hit me like a brick in the pit of my stomach. And each piece reminded me of how broken our world is, of how we continue to suffer and groan with creation as a result of sin.

So it seems to me that the best we can wish for is the thing we wait for during Advent—Christ’s return. What better gift could we ask for than the final restoration of all things?

I can’t think of a thing. So I will pray, as I do every year, “Lord Jesus come quickly.”

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