Advent is a time marked by expectation of Jesus’ arrival. Every year, I pray that Jesus would reveal himself to me in a new way. Growing up in church, I’ve heard the story, seen it reenacted in the plays, and have done the routine. But Jesus’ arrival was not routine. I want to take time to expect Jesus. His birth means that I can tell a story of redemption and point our messy lives back to him. His arrival means that we can have peace, joy, and freedom.
People heard the prophecies of the Messiah; they were just waiting indefinitely for this Savior to come. And wouldn’t you think a king would make an extravagant entrance? With all the power in the world, God chose to send a baby. How confused these people must have been that God sent a baby to be the answer to a dreary world. But maybe there’s power in the intimacy a baby brings. A king with a grand entrance stops the show, but a baby has to be seen and heard. Maybe the world had enough kings and grand entrances that a baby seemed like the best way to turn heads. You have to bend down to really take notice. And was this not the point of Jesus’ coming anyway? Just to be close to us.
I think of the ones who didn’t expect a baby to save the world. I think of the ones who turned Mary and Joseph away. How they turned Heaven away because it was inconvenient and they couldn’t make room. How could they expect the Messiah to be born among animals in a condition more humble than ours? How could they expect this baby to save them? How could a promise this deep be fulfilled on a night like this?
His arrival meant something for mankind as a whole, but it also means something for you and I as individuals.
Lately, have you found yourself waiting for anything? Have you found yourself worn out from looking for answers? What if you and I waited in expectation together, knowing that God has already fulfilled his promise to be with us through Jesus Christ.
I think waiting on God will be different if we change our doubt to expectation. If nothing else, just to experience Jesus waiting with us. Walking with us.
When Jesus shows up for you, will you see him? Will you see him in the mess, and will you let him in?
Though it may be inconvenient, invasive, or unorganized, may we let his arrival change us this Christmas season.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. -John 16:33
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16