Traditionally, we celebrate Advent in the weeks prior to Christmas. We take time and make conscious efforts to slow down and wait. We wonder what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph as they anticipated the coming of the promised Jesus. In a world where Christmas music can be heard weeks before Thanksgiving and decorations can be bought along with our Halloween costumes, Advent is a time to slow down.
But Advent is not something that only takes place in December. We don’t need to take ourselves back thousands of years to wonder what it was like to anticipate a messiah. Advent, or waiting for the advent of something is a common thread to all God followers. Ever since the fall God’s people have been called to wait.
Adam and Eve were promised that the seed of the woman would stomp on the serpent’s head. They waited. Abraham was promised that his descendants would outnumber the stars in the sky. He waited. Israel was promised they would get a land all to themselves. While in the desert they sinned and had to wait for 40 years. During that time all of the commands given to them could be summarized by ‘wait faithfully.” In the New Testament we see that Jesus promises the disciples they would receive a comforter after he left. We see the disciples waiting. As the body of Christ today we wait for the return of Christ and the physical manifestation of his kingdom.
The Advent season is an important reminder to wait faithfully. Christ may not return this Christmas. All of the things you’ve been waiting for may not come to fruition this Christmas. What happens when the Advent season has passed us? Do we stop waiting? Do we stop trusting God? Waiting is not a fun word in today’s society. We don’t like to wait, we don’t like being bored. The good news is I don’t think God expects us to wait passively. When we are called to wait I don’t think that means we should head for the bunker and merely survive until Christ returns.
We are the bride of Christ. As we await our bridegroom let us not wait passively. Let’s be at work. Let this Advent season be a time where we wait for Christ by doing the work of Christ.
Dave Hallahan has been a camper, volunteer staff member and summer staff at camp. He works as a youth pastor at Hope Christian Fellowship in Woodbury.
You can find more devotions for the Advent season written by the Delanco Camp community in Beyond the Trappings, our new Advent Devotion book.