Pretty cakes adorned the dining room table, childrens songs played quietly in the background, adults in every direction looked stressed to the eye balls but otherwise all seemed good.
Birthday boy Jack runs through the kitchen and gives me a high five. “What are you doing Jack?” I ask as he runs past at hurtling speed. “Waiting, I’m waiting” he exclaims with arms flung wide flying through the house like a Boeing 747. ‘Of course you are’ I think to myself. I grin and the image of this very particular ‘waiting’ stays in my mind for days.
Once a week I spend half an hour welcoming people into church for their regular act of weekly worship. I’ll be honest and say that some times in some places the joy of the Lord looks to have left the lives of his people very long time ago.
For the people called Christians advent represents not a season of furious shopping but rather a time of waiting for the coming of the Lord. It’s traditionally a time when the church reminds its self that God, not us, is King and that our lives make most sense when we live in that reality. Why? Because in that kind of reality we have nothing to be fearful of, we are free to love and free to serve others even our enemies.
As Jack tore around his home confident that the fulness of party celebrations were just around the corner he reminded me that when Christians wait we should do likewise. We wait not in dread, cynicism or fear, not in despair or apathy but in the sure and certain hope that God is making all things new.
There will be struggles on the way, there will be times it is difficult to see what God is doing, there will be times when even the possibility of God feels far away. Even in all those times we wait as people who are assured that God, not Ceaser is king.
As you journey through your advent season, my hope and prayer is that you might enjoy waiting confidently in God’s presence. May you run like a mad man because what is coming is already here because we are people of the now and the not yet.