Advent reminds us to “look” for Christ’s coming. To remember anew that Christ did come 2013 years ago for mankind, that Christ is coming today for each of our hearts and that Christ will come again someday.
It’s a familiar theme to marvel at the humility and improbability of the long promised King arriving as a child in the middle of the night. It’s iconic for us to visualize that “Holy Night” as a helpless baby is birthed in obscurity, tucked into the low rent district of Bethlehem. We joyfully sing song’s about “little drummer boys” and wonder at the powerful juxtaposition Christmas presents to our modern and enlightened way of thinking.
How odd for us to consider the Christmas story. How it reverses the normal order, how it illustrates weakness and man’s strength must be flipped on their respective heads for a manger to substitute as a palace. It’s an amazing example of Heaven reaching down to touch earth and how it’s profound simplicity affects our hearts all over again. Each Christmas we are drawn to reflect on the immeasurable power represented by this noble newborn child.
We marvel each December as we rejoice at our hope surviving against all the odds, our child-King living to die for us and in-explicably saving our world from sin and death and shame.
That’s a timeless theme, worthy of every Christmas season’s fullest attention. But this Advent… I’m pondering a slightly different emphasis on the Advent story. A focus on the “timing” of God. A practical reality check, one that forces me to consider again how God’s schedule never – ever – seems even close to matching ours.
How long had the Rabbi’s and Prophet’s pondered and studied and scrutinized the ancient texts to do their best to calculate the coming date of their beloved Messiah ? How many generations had been born and buried and turned to dust before we have the Divine visitation outside Bethlehem? How long was it between the ancient cry of Isaiah the prophet to look for God’s final solution to Israel’s misery, searching every generation for the child-King to be born “Immanuel”? (Isaiah 7:14)
It was seven hundred years from the writing of the Prophet Isaiah in the 8th century BC until the birth of Christ as described in the scripture. That’s a LONG time to wait on God.
As we consider the unique and amazing ways of God, let’s be sure to remember that His timing for answering our urgent requests for relief may be much slower than we want. Advent is truly a time of reflection, of remembering the perfect plan and the exact timing of God’s redemptive masterpiece in Christ.
Christmas is not only a reset of our human understanding of “HOW” God works among us, but also of “WHEN”. It’s expected then, that like the Hebrew scholars of old, we may find God delaying to answer our prayers… asking us to linger a bit with Him before revealing His promise in our lives.
Advent then becomes not only a reminder of Christ’s coming, but also of God’s master plan and “Perfect Timing” in each and every life situation…especially parenting.
Peace and Grace to you this Christmas season and may we all find renewed patience as parents in this season of expectant “waiting”.