Warning - I might get a little preach-y today. But this is what’s on my heart, so this is what you get.
I’ve gone to the Edgewood Bible Church for over 20 years. It’s the church my dad grew up in, where I met my husband, and where we celebrated the dedication of our daughter with our church family. We love that place and all of those sweet, sweet people.
Before I started attending the Bible Church, we were part of a local Lutheran church; that’s the faith tradition my mom was a part of growing up. I remember being in the third grade at the Lutheran church and learning all about the Church Calendar; all of the special holidays and seasons, special church services and traditions. We don’t pay too much attention to the Church calendar at Edgewood Bible Church. Of course, we acknowledge Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter…but we don’t celebrate the specific number of weeks for each holiday as many other churches do. However, one ritual I still hold onto from my years in the Lutheran church is the Church Calendar. I attribute it to my love of music and leading worship - there’s just too much good music to coincide with the calendar, and the music makes the meaning so, so rich for me.
Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is the season of expectation; the time where we eagerly await the coming of the Savior. Since it is situated at the end of our year, Advent has always been a season for me to reflect and prepare. Well, 2020 is quite the year to reflect upon, isn’t it?
I know it can seem quite simple to say, “Everything happens for a reason.” And I touched on this a couple of weeks ago when I shared the story about my grandma’s house. But I fully believe that every situation we go through is preparing us for something ahead. Can I share some thoughts from God’s Word with you along this line?
The Old Testament is full of stories of hard situations for the Israelites. (As you read more and more, you find that they brought most of the calamity upon themselves from their disobedience, but it was hard regardless.) But when you get into the books of the Prophets, we see them teaching the Israelites about great promise awaiting them…teaching them to be patient and expectant…teaching them to be obedient in their waiting. In Isaiah, we find a set of verses that point us right to the thing the Israelites were waiting for:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
You could also listen to the entirety of Handel’s Messiah for practically every.word. of Isaiah’s prophecy…
Here’s the thing: the book of Isaiah was written about 750 years before Jesus was born. That’s a LOT of years of waiting and expectation, guys. I think it would be so hard to be obediently patient for so long. SO. HARD.
Okay, let’s flip the script. We have been sitting in a pandemic for over nine months. We are growing weary. “Covid fatigue” is a real thing. We miss normal. We miss our families. We miss seeing each others’ mask-less faces. But it’s only been nine months. The people who were alive when Isaiah was sharing his prophecy weren’t even alive to see the fulfillment of his words. And even though we’re still waiting for the deliverance from our current situation, we get to enjoy the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy from nearly 3000 years ago. Can we please take a respite from our weariness to celebrate that?
So, now. In our season of Advent, this time of great expectation - take some time to reflect on how you’ve arrived at this place in 2020. What have you grieved over? What’s made you rejoice? How can you celebrate, even when it’s hard? What blessings have surprised you? And where might all of these things take you in the season to come? Don’t grow weary in the waiting, my friends. Use this season of expectation as a season of preparation.
Sending you all of the love.
My name is Miranda and I'm a mom, spouse, dance teacher, and entrepreneur. I’m going to share my life with you. The good, the bad, the weird. I hope to inspire you, encourage you, make you laugh. I’ll be honest. And I can’t wait to learn more about you through it all.