This is the Expectation that is Advent

Advent - St Stephens ChurchThis is the Expectation that is Advent © by Diane Raborn

 
Sunday, November 30th, in the year of our Lord 2014, ushers in the start of Advent in our liturgical calendar.
 
It is a time of hope. expectation, and waiting. Intentionally and purposefully.
 
But, most significantly, with the childlike imagination and joy that radiates throughout this meaningful Season.
 
God has, indeed, broken through the barriers of our humanity to shed His light and His Truth. As believers, we are given the enduring task of spreading this light and truth. Into all places and under all circumstances.
 
This is the expectation that is Advent.
 
The Season of Advent enables us to unfold God’s story of Christmas as we contemplate His goodness and grace. It has become our story too, one we’ve passed along since the very first Advent. Christ is coming, we are waiting and we hope. God, in His perfection, entered the World in human form as He said He would. He did not disappoint. Many may have been and continue to be deceived and deluded; however, Emmanuel, Yeshua, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, was and is true. As promised in Scripture. “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending”, says the Lord, “which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Revelations 1: 8. Alleleuia.
 
This is the expectation that is Advent.
 
The graciousness God provides in the World’s First Advent leads us tenderly in hope, expectation and waiting for the Second Advent which is the Second Coming of Christ in all manner of glory. “God will invade” C.S. Lewis exclaims, “and this time it will be God without disguise.”
 
We hope and wait. This is the expectation that is Advent.
 
The apostle Paul writes in First Corinthians chapter 13 verse 12: “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part: but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
 
As we age, the years seem to pass with astounding swiftness. For those younger, time may roll by slowly. I remember those days.
 
Every successive Advent, however, we are given the opportunity to grow in Christ to become more like HIm. To have victory in Christ. At times, it’s a process with two steps forward, one step back. We only have to look at the Old and New Testament saints to see their very real struggle. Without hope, expectation and waiting, most would have probably succumbed to the many perils of the day.
 
Hope, expectation, and waiting are very real to those Biblical “giants” before and after God’s new covenant with His beloved children. Abraham; Noah; Moses; Joshua; Daniel; David; the disciples; Paul; and, the apostles are some of the men who acknowledged, trusted, and obeyed their heavenly Father. Story after story reveal their hopes, expectations and waiting throughout times of turmoil in a world we so often recognize.
 
This is the expectation that is Advent.
 
Sarah; Rebekah; Rachel; Rahab; Naomi; Ruth; Esther; Elizabeth; Mary, the blessed mother of Jesus; Martha and Mary; Mary Magdalene: and, Lydia, are a few of the women in Scripture who hoped, expected, and waited.
 
This is the expectation that is Advent.
 
Neil Anderson speaks to the new identity in Christ that we are as followers of Jesus. it is through the unfolding of the story of both Advents that walk us toward victory.
 
See ‘who you are in Christ’ in the Scripture verse posted:
1. Matthew 5:13 2. Romans 6:18 3. John 1:12 4. 2nd Corinthians 5:17 5. Colossians 1:12 6. Rom 6:22 7. Eph 4:24 8. John 15:15 9. Eph 2:19 10. 1 Peter 2:5 11. Eph 2:10 12. Heb. 3:1 13. 1 Thessalonians 1:4. 14. Colossians 3:4 15. Philippians 3:21 16. John 15: 1 and 5 1 7. 1 Corinthians 6:17 18. Romans 8:17 19. Colossians 3:3 20.1 Peter 2:11

My prayer is that we treasure the Season of Advent, allowing us to grow in the victory that is Christ, our Savior. Alleluia~

Prayer for the First Sunday in Advent:
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when He shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through Him who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer 1977)