As a child, I remember my eagerness of waiting for Christmas. My parents put up the live tree late in the month. Glass ornaments and thin strands of crinkly tinsel hung on the branches; the pine scent filled the air. Mom covered the front door with shiny gold wrapping paper and attached a bow, making it look like a huge present. Nothing fancy, but Christmas was coming. The few presents under the tree tempted me to shake and rattle them when no one was looking.
I waited for Christmas, marking off each day on the calendar. It seemed like forever.
Advent is a time of anticipation and waiting with hope.
Could you imagine waiting 400 years for something? It is incomprehensible, worse than a child anticipating the long days of December. God spoke through the prophet Malachi at the end of the Old Testament followed by 400 years of silence—people waiting to hear from God, expecting a word, a sign…something that indicated God still heard them.
Waiting, yearning. Dormant time, when it seems nothing is happening.
God is at work in the waiting.
The Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah were slowly being fulfilled, unnoticed until the birth of Jesus. Simeon, a great man of faith, waited in the temple and served God. When Mary and Joseph came to the temple, he immediately recognized the silence had been broken. Finally, the Word became flesh. The Messiah was born; the wait was over.
Are you in the midst of waiting—for an answer to prayer, for medical reports, for a flicker of hope in a discouraging season of life?
Even in the silence, look to the Lord.
God is at work above and beneath the realm of human activity. He offers hope while waiting.
Advent is a time of waiting with hope—but not for the anticipation of presents, shiny decorations, and beautiful music. It’s a time of preparation for our hearts to hear from God. We are like the people waiting for the Messiah, joining in praying:
O come, O come, Emmanuel!
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.