Driving back from Thanksgiving, I had in mind the idea to write “25 Thoughts on Advent” (since that season this year fit Dec. 1-25) and tweet one each day. I got through half of them before falling off the wagon and succumbing to the schedule. But here they are, in draft form – some unfinished, some promising more to think about, some probably needing revision – but may they help you in your journey.
1 Those in ministry often find #advent to be a time of waiting … for it all to be over. Resolved: not to let the pace or stress paper over the true waiting, but intensify the longing and remembering God’s deliverance.
2. #Advent spurns hurrying for waiting (its near opposite). Hurrying makes you deaf; waiting (anticipation!) makes you hear. @davidjburke
3. #Advent is “coming:” what has been (& is now) is not all that will be. But: what exactly are you waiting for? Who are you waiting for?
4. #Advent in the church means a “time change:” a shift and adjustment to the shape of the Story behind our stories. All is not as it seems.
5. #Advent drops you into the messy middle of the big Story. Though we reach back and live forward, we live in the middle.
6. The waiting of #Advent means “making ready:” God gives a sign that he is up to something new in the world (Luke 1:18)
7. #Advent makes us remember that our story starts in goodness: calling on the God who has been God and faithful to his people.
8. #Advent also makes us remember our collective guilt. We are makers of mess, workers of woe. But it is into THIS world our Redeemer came.
9. #Advent reminds us that God picked a people for his purpose for the world and promised to be with them.
10. #Advent reminds us that God purpose prevailed though God’s people became part of the problem. The promise was yet to come.
11. #Advent the wait is over in the advent of Jesus: God with us, the desire of nations. His question: who do you say that I am?
12. In #Advent, when God narrows the scope of his work (Israel – line of David – family of Jesus) is it for the sake of (and blessing to) the whole world.
13. #Advent then makes you think: what is God doing in me/us now (promised, given) that prepares for me/us for what’s not yet?
14. #Advent is a time of tension with the promise of fulfillment. God worked at just the right time. (Lk 1:5, Hb 1:1-2, Gal 4:4 Rom 5:6)
15. In #Advent then there is space for both lamenting &rejoicing: where we see weal and woe, God sees a work toward redemption. “My deliverer is coming.”
16. We lament “now” in #Advent because all is not as it should be: we rejoice “now” because of what (and who!) has happened. Joy to the World …
17. Similarly, #Advent looks ahead: we lament all that is “not yet” – we still wait and anticipate – but rejoice because He who promises is faithful. O Come, O Come Immanuel…
18. As a season, #Advent exposes our “always on” feeling and mode of operating in this world. Waiting is counter-cultural act.
19. But our worldly waiting often takes the pain of now and substitutes it for the promise of not yet. #Advent fixes us on the promise in order to fuel patience.
20. #Advent keep us from projecting and posing, pointing us to proper appreciation of now (taste! savor! see!) in light of not yet.
21. Feeling “always on” reveals that we don’t know how to rest. #Advent is a chance to renounce that constant pre-occupation.
22. #Advent is ultimately a rediscovery of nothing less that the true goal of our lives: a deep rest in the life of the Lord himself.
23. The rest of #Advent is not simply a “marking time” or “ceasing activity:” it is an active remembrance that I participate by playing a part in the grandest Story.
24. #Advent reminds me that I do not know the whole plot and haven’t seen the finished play, but I have enough for faithful obedience: “I am the Lord’s servant.”
25. #Advent reveals that we can’t comprehend God and all his work, but we can live at the particular point where the story has apprehended us. “May it be to us as you have said.”