Driving back from Thanksgiving, I had in mind the idea to write “25 Â 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 … Â 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 Godâ€™s deliverance.
2. #Advent spurns hurrying for waiting (its near opposite). Hurrying makes you deaf;Â waiting (anticipation!) makes you hear. @davidjburke
3. #Advent is â€œcoming:â€ 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 â€œtime change:â€ 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 â€œmaking ready:â€ 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.Â The promise was yet to come.
11. #Advent the wait is over in the advent of Jesus: God with us, the desire of nations. Â 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 whatâ€™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. â€œMy deliverer is coming.”
16. We lament â€œnow” 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 yetâ€ – 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 â€œalways onâ€ feeling and mode of operating in this world. Waiting is counter-cultural act.
19. But our worldly waitingÂ 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 â€œalways onâ€ 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 havenâ€™t seen the finished play, but I have enough for faithful obedience: â€œI am the Lordâ€™s servant.â€
25. #Advent reveals that we can’t comprehend God and all his work, but we can live at the Â particular point where the story has apprehended us. â€œMay it be to us as you have said.â€