Alexis Patterson, GFC Lutz
I vividly remember anticipating the birth of my first child. She was our girl and our first and what a joy she was! It wasn’t just the anticipation of her birth but also the anticipation of parenthood, motherhood for me. There were times during pregnancy when I would imagine what she would look like and how holding her would feel.
Approaching my due date, I would dream of staring into her eyes and the bond we would create. While pregnant, I prepared for her arrival. With a baby shower and all the nesting a mama could handle, I set up a special place for her in our home. I went through the first time mama checklist of all the things I needed for our hospital stay. I did everything I knew to do, to welcome that sweet precious girl into our world. You have probably anticipated something too. I am sure you have long awaited that special something to come to be in your life. We all have something(s) that we anticipate with hope and with expectancy.
Advent is upon us. Advent literally means coming or arrival. It is a time of celebrating the earthly birth of Jesus and the participation and the anticipation of His second coming. Throughout the Old Testament, God was setting the scene for the need of a Savior, Jesus Christ. With the books of the law God showed our need for His guidance and presence and through prophecy He pointed to the promise of Jesus. This built a growing hope for a King that would overcome all sin and evil in this world (John 16:33). Jesus was the King in which God chose to deliver His people. Jesus would be the Savior, the perfect sacrifice, the perfect teacher, and our perfect example. There was about four hundred years between the Old and New Testament. There was a period where God seemed silent and the people were only left with the hope of the King and the Messiah God had promised to His people.
During this time, as we approach Christmas Day I love to observe that growing anticipation. As I reflect on the times leading up to the birth of Jesus I also have a growing hope for His second arrival. One of my favorite tools to use is the First 5 app by Proverbs 31 “Pointing to the Promise”. It takes you through Advent with scriptures, teachings, and prayers. I get so much from this study and the best part is this year I am doing this observation/study with my sister all the way in Maryland! Because it’s through an app, we’ve created our own personal chat group within the app where we can share our reflections and prayers with one another. We are also able to hold one another accountable. I am so grateful for such amazing tools to grow in connection with our Lord and other believers. And, this year, our Beautiful community is bringing us together through our inaugural Advent study! You might just be ushering in the arrival of Jesus with our Beautiful community of women.
We are all anticipating something today. For those of us who are waiting for Jesus to come back, we have grown hungry with expectancy of that great triumphant return. We prepare for Him by growing in relationship with Him. We go to church to be in fellowship with other believers. We serve our communities to provide hope and share love with one another. We live by faith and share the light of the gospel with all people around us. It’s much like what most of us do when we’re preparing for anything we hoped for, we make room in our hearts and our lives for that special thing we longed for. Just like when I made room for my sweet baby girl in my world, I make room for Jesus in my world also. As we wait on Jesus 2 Peter 3:9 reminds us the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, He is actually patient with you and me, not wanting any one of us to perish but for everyone to come to repentance. What a great and mighty King we have in Jesus.