I love the season of Advent. It is the season where we remember waiting in the darkness for God to send the Savior. Waiting in the darkness, is the most natural season for me. It is a hopeful season, but it carries with it the full recognition that the world, right now, is dark.
Advent started today for those following the historic church calendar. It always starts on Sunday, four weeks before Christmas. Each week we will light one more candle as the light of Christ draws closer.
As I was thinking about how I wanted to recognize advent this year, I started thinking not just how I would wait for Christmas, but also how we are supposed to wait for Christ’s return.
Waiting doesn’t mean sitting and doing nothing, but it does recognize that ultimately we are waiting for God to act and not ourselves responsible for some future outcome or event. I think waiting implies not striving. Waiting for someone implies you know the outcome is not up
Jesus made it clear in the parable of The Ten Virgins (Matt 25 1-13) that we are supposed to be watching and ready with plenty of oil in our lamps. (I keep thinking about the times in scripture God refers to the ‘oil of gladness.’)
It is as active waiting, not a distracted, irresponsible waiting. In Mark 13, Jesus also talks about waiting and watching, being left to wait with a task, on guard and alert.
We are to “eagerly await” and while we wait we know we “are not lacking any spiritual gift.” (1 Cor 1:3-9)
So, we have all we need to wait. During Advent we remember waiting for the first coming of the Savior, now we wait for His return to set everything right. We aren’t responsible for saving the world, but we do have tasks, first and foremost seems to be watching and being ready for His return.
So anyway, those are the thoughts swirling through my head. I’m trying to apply them to the mess of an unbalanced life I’m now leading. What am I supposed to do and what am I supposed to eagerly wait for?
Is Ending a Sentence with a Preposition Acceptable?
At one time, schoolchildren were taught that a sentence should never end with a preposition. However, this is a rule from Latin grammar that was applied to English. While many aspects of Latin have made their way into the English language, this particular grammar rule is not suited for modern English usage.
There are times when trying to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition creates unnecessary and awkward phrasing. For example, Winston Churchill once allegedly exclaimed, “That is the sort of thing up with which I will not put!” to mock someone who criticized him for ending a sentence with a preposition.
I guess it’s okay that I don’t have the answers to those questions right now at the beginning of Advent. I have four weeks to wait, watch, and learn.
What are you doing for Advent? Is it important that you spiritually prepare for Christmas as well as physically prepare? Is Advent a natural season for you or does the idea of waiting in darkness feel weird in the midst of all the lights and parties? ( Personally, Lent feels awkward for me and I basically hate the idea of it, so no judgement here.)