Advent is a season for patience, waiting, and anticipation. As Christians, we have the confident hope that Jesus is coming. His arrival is certain. It will happen. When my wife was pregnant with our firstborn daughter, the nine months seemed to go agonizingly slow. And the closer the time came for her to be born it seemed she would never come! But, of course, she did. My first gander at a live childbirth was not a pretty sight; there was nothing at all romantic or glamorous about it. It was not easy seeing my wife in such unique pain. Yet, after it was all over, it was as if she had forgotten the difficulty of pregnancy and birth because her joy was so immense.
In this world which is so full of physical, emotional, and even spiritual pain, we groan inwardly longing for the day when the promise will be realized and Jesus arrives. Christians have a settled expectation that Jesus is coming. If we keep our focus on this future reality, it helps to give shape and purpose to what we do now. If we hope for what we do not yet see, we wait for it with patience.
But sometimes we lose sight of our hope. How do we hold on and not give in to discouragement? How might we remain vigilant and steady, especially when times are difficult? One way we persist is by not going it alone. Christians all share the same common experience of needing to embrace hope. We are to remind one another of our forgiveness in Christ, our shared love of Jesus, and our commitment to remain true to the Lord’s way of love. Perhaps today you need to be vulnerable enough to openly share with a trusted believer how much you need your hope reawakened; or, maybe you have noticed someone who is losing hope and needs an intervention of encouragement. Let us keep reminding each other that better days are coming….
God Almighty, although this is a season of hope, many suffer in silence with hurting hearts. Open my eyes to those around me who need their hope reawakened today, and use me to remind them of your abiding grace in Jesus Christ, our coming Savior. Amen.