Human beings are funny in that we always seem to need something to look forward to – something ‘coming up’. It may be tonight’s episode of our favourite TV show or it may be the arrival of a grandchild. In matters both great and small we are an expectant lot. I think this is another one of those things God has hard-wired into us. Advent is actually about truly great expectations: expecting God to rescue the world from evil and all its consequences. Long before Jesus appeared, his nation (Israel) was informed through prophets to anticipate his coming. Micah, writing around 700 B.C., said, “But you, Bethlehem…out of you will come a ruler…” (5:2) Isaiah, his contemporary, wrote, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…” (9:6) As promised, Jesus came among us and began to implement God’s rescue through his selfless life, death and resurrection.
Clearly, God’s restoration and transformation project is not completed yet, although it is begun in and through us as we trust and obey Jesus. We are to anticipate that “this Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back…” Acts 1:11 Then the task will be completed. Jesus tells us to “watch and pray”, indicating that we should continue to be expectant and ready for his return.
In the meantime, our God is full of daily surprises – answers to prayer, creature sightings (we saw a red-shouldered hawk up close!), ‘aha’ moments – and it is normal and healthy for us to expect these. What a delight it is to follow Jesus, when there are new mercies awaiting around every corner!
Advent begins on Sunday, December 3rd. That day we’ll hold a joint service for all 3 congregations at Ingoldsby at 10:30 (singing at 10). We will share in the Lord’s Supper and a lunch following. The theme of the day is Hope! Hope to see you there. I’m looking forward to it.
In Christ’s love,