“Is it my birthday yet?” All throughout this past month of November our youngest son asked me this question, first thing in the morning. And then again at night after the last book was read— “Mom, will it be my birthday tomorrow?” It was a sort of game we played, as he does in fact know the exact date of his birthday. But he thought it was fun to ask, and it fueled his sense of anticipation, helping him pass the days while he eagerly waited for his special day to arrive.
This Sunday, Christians around the world begin the season of waiting known as Advent. Over these next few weeks as we wait to celebrate Jesus’ birth, we are given a beautiful opportunity to connect deeply with our inner longings and hopes, those within our own hearts, as well as the longings and hopes of those around us. Waiting gives us the gift of paying attention— both to our need for God, as well as to our longing for something better for ourselves and for the world.
Even though Jesus was born as a baby to Mary and Joseph in the town of Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, it’s also true that in a very real way we are still waiting for him to show up. However, rather than waiting for him to come for the first time, now we’re waiting for his second coming— his return— as he comes again to make “all things new” (Revelation 21:5).
Our world is longing for him, even now, creation itself “groaning as if in childbirth,” Paul states in Romans chapter 8. Like my youngest son anticipating his upcoming birthday, the season of Advent reminds us that there’s something (or someone) mighty good coming. But for now, we’re waiting— perhaps a bit nervously or excitedly or in tiredness or discouragement. That’s OK, too.
My prayer is that you let these Advent weeks of waiting increase your longing for God to come. In the meantime, may you use the waiting well, paying attention to what God is birthing in your life.
Take heart, Christ has come. Christ is coming again.
With you and for you,