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Christmas is already in the air. Can you feel it? I think we’re all a little ready for something to look forward to and a reason to celebrate.
After a year of so much waiting without any sort of end in sight, it feels nice to wait for something we know is coming–something we can count on.
Maybe that’s why for centuries, the Church has practiced this rhythm of Advent.
Traditionally, Advent is the period of four weeks leading up to Christmas. It is often celebrated with candles and wreaths and readings focused on the coming of Christ.
Advent is a period of waiting with joy and anticipation.
But in our point in history, we sit in what the women from She Reads Truth calls the space between two Advents. We celebrate Jesus’ first coming, and we wait eagerly for His second.
In many circumstances, we wait without knowing how or when our waiting will end. And true, as we wait for Jesus’ second coming, we don’t know when that will happen. We are promised that it will, though.
But even while we wait for that, we get to celebrate the wait that is already over.
Each Advent, we have the privilege of waiting in expectation for the celebration of what God has already done.
While you may be eager to race out of this waiting space that has occupied so much space this year, I want to encourage you to press into a different angle of waiting.
Because waiting isn’t all bad.
This Advent, let’s wait together expectantly and celebrate the birth of Christ.
Want some practical ways to embrace the waiting season of Advent? Here are two ways to do that:
This could look a lot of different ways, but as you’re preparing space, I want to challenge you to focus on three areas.
First, make some space in your schedule. This may be easier to do than in years past. There aren’t a lot of parties or events happening this year to distract us from the waiting. Still, it will take some intentionality not to numb out.
Consider blocking out some time each week, maybe even daily, to commune with God and make the choice to enter into the waiting.
Second, prepare your space. I find it is a lot easier to enter into a season when my physical space is ready for that season. So put up the tree, set up the nativity set, collect up your materials for your Jesse Tree.
Create a space that encourages excitement, but isn’t overcrowded or distracting.
Third, prepare your heart. Advent is often a season when we add in a little something extra to help us usher in the season. I recommend finding a devotional, Bible study, or reading plan focused around Advent.
In the Waiting is my newest Bible study and would be a great partner for this Advent season.
And that leads us to the second thing you can do to wait well in this season of Advent.
Like I mentioned, waiting is often seen as a negative thing, but there are so many different angles to waiting. This season, I want to encourage you to explore some of those angles.
When I was writing In the Waiting, I spent a lot of time digging into Scripture and exploring the stories of different people who waited.
It was insightful, challenging, and comforting to know that other people experienced messy and disappointing waiting seasons. Other people had wants and desires that were not yet met.
But there are also beautiful stories in Scripture of those who waited and got what they were waiting for.
While this year has shown us the heavier side of waiting, Advent gives us the opportunity to reimagine waiting seasons as ones where God’s faithfulness is a guarantee.
We don’t have to doubt or question. Jesus did come, just as God promised, and Advent is a celebration of the waiting fulfilled.
If you want someone to walk into Advent with, I’m leading an online study of In the Waiting.
Beginning November 16th, we’ll explore the theme of waiting throughout Scripture and sit with those who waited.
In the process, we’ll also learn what it looks like to wait well and how waiting seasons can be opportunities for us to draw near to God.
Grab your copy of In the Waiting: Drawing Near to God in Seasons of Wanting, and sign up now to join us for the study.
Are there any ways you like to prepare for the Christmas celebration?
Related: Restoring the Wonder of Christmas
Live in His love!