What is Advent?
One online dictionary defines Advent: a coming into place, view, or being; arrival:
I’ve often thought of it as a time of waiting. I love that. “A coming into place”.
Our greatest plans and dreams don’t just appear. Some dreams are those things we merely wait for while others are born of hard work and planning.
For us, Christmastime comes every year. Our western culture seems to forget that the coming of the Messiah had been prophesied a few hundred years before. Those who believed had waited through generations for something that had not yet happened.
This year has become a year of waiting for my family.
A loss of position as well as a stepping away from our faith community has us wondering when the time to take our next step will arrive.
The Umpqua tragedy here in Roseburg has shaken the once secure feeling of our precious town. When will our sense of well-being return?
After 85 years of a beautiful life we are cherishing every lingering moment my daddy has left on earth.
Our lives feel so very heavy right now so we are holding on with every last bit of strength that remains.
I see Advent as a gentle waiting. An anticipation of those things we know are coming or have already come. We light the candles and pray for promises to arrive soon. Like a child whose nose is pressed to the cold window as the snow slowly blankets the ground. We count every moment as a snowflake and wonder when enough moments will be enough. We wonder when the waiting will be over.
Advent is a time for contemplation. We remember that Christ is our Emmanuel or “God with us”. He’s walking through the waiting with us.
He is our Prince of Peace. He fills our heavy moments with peace. A peace that brings strength beyond anything we can imagine.
He is our Counselor. When the prayer of our hearts stay quiet or even as they roll off of our tongues, He hears us.
My prayer this Advent season sounds something like this:
Our precious and most gracious Father, Remind us to walk in the peace you bring. May we encourage others with the joy that only you will pour into our lives. Our hope has already arrived, wrapped in humility and grace. He came through a woman who believed in you with every bit of her soul and she followed you wholly during the waiting.
Let the lighting of each candle remind us to lift a prayer of praise. As each flicker breaks through the dark winter night, bring us through our waiting with hearts of gratitude.
More than anything may we really know our Emmanuel is with us in the waiting.
Today’s contribution comes from Jemelene Wilson. Jemelene is a Jesus loving storyteller who married her FedEx man just a year shy of earning her spinster status. She is Mom to her two daughters and Mama Jem to just about everyone else. In the past few years she has come to understand the true beauty of God’s grace. Jemelene.com is her own little corner of the web where she writes about faith, hope, love and food.
Join us this season as we pray through Advent together. I have some beautiful guest posts and there’s space for your voice, too. I hope you join us – either by contributing or on your own.