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Awaiting the Coming King

by Jordyn Farris, Associate Director of Elementary

We all have seasons of waiting. Whether you have finally gotten your driving permit and you’re waiting to get to the next level of independence, or you are waiting for your dream college/dream job/dream house, or you have one year left before you can retire—and you are beyond ready for the wait to end! I am halfway through one of the most classic waiting seasons in life: expecting my first child. My husband and I realize we are nearing the end of one life chapter and entering another. It is a unique blend of anticipation and fear. Anticipation of this great gift. Fear of the unknown, of not being ready.

As Advent begins, I try to imagine what God’s people felt like as they awaited the promised Savior. It had been 400 years since the prophet Malachi spoke about the Savior’s return—not to mention thousands of years since the other prophets, messengers, and priests described a great coming king. I imagine the waiting was excruciating. Their faith was tested, and I’m certain they questioned the truthfulness of God’s promises.

As Christians today, we see the full story of God’s rescue plan for us and His faithfulness. And unlike the Israelites, we enter a time of unique anticipation as we await the birth of Jesus, our greatest gift. So rather than just counting down the days to Christmas, here are three ways you can embrace this time of waiting.

Prepare

The prophets told God’s people over and over to prepare for the coming King. I don’t think that means you have to have all the right “stuff” for the holidays—but to prepare your heart. Make a commitment to pray over Advent. Think about the wonder and awe Christmas brings. Prepare special ways to make Jesus the center of the season.

Enjoy the moment

I am sure God’s people felt like time stood still as they waited for Jesus, but that is a rarity in our world today. Advent is a time to enjoy the moment. How do you turn waiting into anticipation? Take a survey of your surroundings, the people you interact with, and the way you feel. You may never have this moment again. Make each day of Advent distinct—read an Old Testament prophesy about Jesus’ birth, or light an Advent candle at dinner, taking a quiet moment of reflection.

Find connections in community

I recently read Advent (and other church seasons) is like breathing with the Body of Christ. When we are all inhaling and exhaling together, you see true beauty in the community. Use Advent to connect with people—extend an invitation to someone new for a coffee or meal. Attend each weekly Advent service. Chat with your neighbor. Serve at a local food shelf. Connections with people in and outside of our community can give you life while you wait.

I can hear my mom saying, “Waiting is just a part of life.” As a child (and adult), times of waiting can be some of the most challenging seasons we face, but God is in it. He is a part of the waiting. He is a part of anticipation. He is in Advent.