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The Waiting of Advent

This year my women’s life group studied advent through the Bible study, Our Hope Has Come.

The major theme is on the waiting. Something most of us do not like to do! I hate waiting!

Of course there was the waiting for the arrival of the Messiah for the Jewish nation. He had been promised and God would bring it to pass, but when? Finally, Jesus arrives, granted, not like most people expected. Many didn’t believe. But He came. Today, we wait for his second advent…the arrival of the new heaven and earth for all eternity.

We didn’t just study the nativity itself as you might think for a Christmas study. We started by looking at various Old Testament stories of people who had to wait for something: Abraham, waiting to parent the son of promise Isaac; Ruth, waiting in sorrow for widowhood to turn to remarriage and a son born to her; and Zerubbabel, waiting for the release of the Israelites to return to their beloved Jerusalem.

We also walked through the “waitings” of Elizabeth and Zechariah, who had to wait most of their marriage to have a child, and even Mary, as she waited and watched for the Messiah to arrive, and then became part of the arrival story.

My favorite week was titled Hope Deferred as we talked about what we personally were waiting for, things that had not come to pass that perhaps we’d prayed for years to come to resolution. Waiting is so hard at times, often painful. Jesus told His disciples:

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.

John 16:33

So, we can wait, no matter how long, or how painful, because of Christmas and Easter. His arrival, after a very long wait, His death & resurrection have overcome everything. We saw Jesus’ time of “wait” in the tomb for 3 days and the sorrow the disciples felt, not understanding this was the perfect plan. Then their pain turned to joy as they saw Jesus once again before His return to heaven.

This is reason we can wait well, and even experience peace. What are you waiting for this Christmas? How well are you waiting? Are you troubled or have you found peace? I am in the “waiting” season for several things involving relationships, and yes, it hurts, but yes, I am experiencing peace in the midst of it.

This peace is available, because our hope HAS come, and lives in us today. How? Jesus said when He returned to heaven, He would give us His Holy Spirit to live in us who brings us this peace.

Watch next week as we look at how we are to live as we wait for that second advent of Jesus.

For most posts on waiting, see the category “Waiting.”

Banner photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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