I loved getting to share about Advent in church this morning and what God is doing in our family lately. I LOVE Advent, and our family enjoys doing a Jesus tree every year, where we get to see Jesus in every story of the Bible, and how the Bible isn’t just a bunch of little, disjointed, moralistic stories, it’s actually one big story, the story of God and how Jesus rescues His people. Jesus is the true and better fulfillment of every promise and person in the Bible, and I’m so pumped my kids gets to learn this at a young age, because I wasn’t raised in the church, and didn’t hear this stuff until later in life.
Advent is a season of waiting for the celebration of the birth of Jesus & the return of Jesus- where He will finally come and wrap up His story with the total restoration of all things that are broken, putting them right again like He first created them in the Garden.
We all have things we are waiting on God to answer, to redeem and restore. This is why I love Advent, it’s an intentional time to point our hearts back to Jesus in these tensions.
This week we focused on the Prophets, who dedicated their lives to sharing the message of God and the coming Messiah. Many did it begrudgingly like Jonah, or had really hard truths to share, like Jeremiah, and never got to see, like we get to, the scope of their influence and how God wove their lives and purposes into His grand narrative. And God is doing the same thing with our stories today, He is weaving everything together for His story, even when we can’t understand why He allows hardships or doesn’t answer prayers that would seem to bring so much good and glory to God. So we wait, and we sit in the tensions, but we don’t do it alone.
Our family has been in a season of that for years, and even when God takes us through an extended time of waiting and praying, without answering in ways we long for, we still have Jesus, the True and Better fulfillment to any hope or promise. We can take encouragement from the Prophets, whose lives and messages, though they certainly didn’t get it right all the time and were broken, messed up people like you and me, their lives were still woven together perfectly into the story of God and birth line of Jesus. That is encouraging news!
So this Advent, as we wait on restoration that we may not get to see on this side of heaven, or understand why God allows us to go through hard things, we can sit with Jesus, whose name is Immanuel, meaning God with us- He enters our mess, beginning with the manger, all the way to the cross. As I cling to Him, and trust that He’s writing my story, just like He did the prophets of old, I’m reminded that I’m not the subject of my story, I’m just part of His.
As Isaiah penned hundreds of years before Jesus was born:
“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.” -Isaiah 9:6