But this year, I need an Advent. I need to exercise the discipline of waiting with hope. Yes, I said discipline. While, for children, Advent is a time of cookies and parties and carols and unjaded anticipation, as we become adults it becomes a discipline. Once we have experienced what it means to wait for something we desperately desire--that promotion, the engagement ring, that acceptance letter, the clean bill of health--we realize what a discipline it truly is to continue to wait with hope.
In Romans 8, Paul tells us that "we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."* Hoping in what we do not see and waiting for it with patience is what is asked of us as we wait. And as we wait, we can take heart in knowing what Paul tells the Corinthians, that in Jesus "it is always yes!" **
Not always "yes" to our earthly desires, but "yes" to that for which we ultimately wait and hope:
YES! God has come to us in the form of his Son, Jesus!
YES! He lived, died, and rose again to rescue us from ourselves!
YES! He will come again and perfectly reconcile us to Himself!
In Jesus, it is indeed always "yes!"
*Romans 8: 23-25
**2 Corinthians 1:19