Merry (early) Christmas! The celebration of the coming of Christ has nearly arrived. Christmas is a season of joy, love, and peace. Today, though, I want a brief look back at the season which is passing, the season of Advent, which is a season of hope and patience.
I love Advent, in part, because of how often it’s overlooked. We start celebrating Christmas sometime after Halloween. I promise, this is not me getting all Scroogey over here and complaining. I don’t care for Christmas music that early, but that’s just because it’s 100 different versions of the same ten songs over, and over, and over. The love of Christmas itself, though, is a wonderful thing. It’s just that, if we don’t use a little patience waiting for it to get here, we won’t really be able fully enter the season itself.
Think back to the original Christmas, the coming of the Messiah. The Israelites had been waiting centuries, been enslaved, freed, the conquerors, the conquered, enslaved, scattered, freed, and, at the time of Christ, ruled by the puppet kings who answered to the Emperor in Rome. The people went through times of trust, times of doubt, times of joy, and times of sadness. Through it all, those who endured had to do so with tremendous faith and patience, trusting in the goodness of their God.
It’s just as true for us in our hopes as it is for them. We are promised in Romans that all things are for our good if we trust God. Trust will obviously require patience, though. You can’t really claim you trust somebody if their promise is fulfilled in the minute every time. Our trust and love for God will require us to endure even the sufferings as things which build towards our ultimate good. With our tendency to seek immediate results and instant gratification, this patience can be a difficult thing to cultivate. It’s never too late, though, to start developing it.
I hope that this season of Advent has been a great reminder that our God is all good, all knowing, and all powerful. Let’s trust that God knows better than we do where our ultimate happiness can be found and that He is constantly guiding us towards it, even if the path seems unnecessarily difficult, let’s bare it with patience and trust in Christ whose birth we’re celebrating. Merry Christmas, and God’s blessings on you and yours!