“A People of Expectation”
An Advent Reflection
As a father I have spent many a night doing what many parents do – looking out a window, waiting for one of our children to arrive home safely. There is always a sense of delight when I know that each of my kids have safely arrived home. When they are out, I gladly wait with anticipation for their arrival home. I love hearing the stories of their day – the conflicts, the challenges, the opportunities, successes and learnings.
It’s what we do as moms and dads!
For many years the Hebrew people had been waiting, as a parent waits for a child to return home. They had awaited the arrival of the Messiah, the Christos. The prophets had spoken of his coming. The hope of an arriving king was high. There was anticipation, a desire to embrace this coming king. He would usher in a new kingdom; peace would reign.
What they didn’t expect was a child born in the humblest of circumstances. What they didn’t predict was a servant king…one who would come, not to be served, but to serve. To offer himself as a living sacrifice. When he arrived as a human baby, yes, the angels announced it, but it was religious gurus (wise men) from the east and shepherds who recognized who this baby was. Despite their desire and long wait for a coming king, he was almost missed. And he was certainly not recognized.
We, too, are a people who wait…a people who watch. We watch for the return of our Saviour and our King. We watch for his work among us. In the gospel of Mark, Jesus says,
“You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
“Therefore, keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
So, as we enter into this Christmas season, how do we wait, watch, anticipate, look for the work of Christ among us? In what ways are you experiencing his presence and work in your life? May this season be not just a time of waiting for his coming, but waiting and looking for his work among us and in our own lives.
It is my prayer and hope that this Christmas is a season where you experience the life and work of Jesus in a new way.
— Doug Sider is the Executive Director at Be In Christ Church of Canada.
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