The season of Advent is coming to a close, now we celebrate with the ancients at the arrival of the King.
The most basic description of the word is ‘waiting’; it can also mean ‘arrival’. Both are important, especially if you are like me, and you think of ‘adventure’ whenever you hear the word. There is both the anticipation going forward, and the waiting for arrival. Such is the case for the church as we seek to celebrate the birth of Christ; we consider his first arrival, his current place of being with us in the Spirit, and then the anticipation of the next arrival. The final word from Him has yet to be spoken, and Christmas speaks to this hope as well.
In the days of the Israelites, before the birth of Christ, advent was a regular part of their life with God. It is why we have so much story from the Old Testament. But we also have laws, songs and prayers, and of course large amounts of prophecy going forward. Warnings, reprimands, commands forgotten, and of course, hope.
Hope? Yep, when you think of what is being thrown at the people as they move into different tough situations, making tabernacles and Temples to meet with God, they were promised a reason for hope. Hope was given, but not seen. Many of us could say not much has changed since then as we live by the Spirit; still listening for God to speak direction and His future presence into our earthbound temples.
Hope seems elusive when you are in exile.
Hope feels out of reach when you are locked in a place of short-sighted wishes.
Hope is founded and declared in a place we have yet to travel, and on terms that are out of our present reach.
It is out of this world, but grounded in all its earthiness.
God presented hope in flesh, and that is about as messy as it can get.
That is the kind of hope the people of the Old Testament had in mind, and were wishing upon when considering the coming Messiah and his reclaimed kingdom. Kingdom. That is an important term, especially when we consider what the book of Matthew has to say about things. This hope is founded on a new kingdom, and the throne of the One True King. Just like Jesus prays in the sermon on the mount, “…on earth as it is in Heaven.” Hope for God’s creation to be transformed into what He intended.
Advent is where we are reminded that the people, and we today, are moving from one place to another. We are waiting for our King, because we know he has been here before, and He came to give us hope.
Exile moves to
Expectation which hope promises will bring
Fulfillment of His promises.
So what are you hoping for?