"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this." (Isaiah 9:6-7)
I remember my first white Christmas vividly. It was December 23, 2009 when we received word that the winter storm inching slowly across northern Oklahoma had become a blizzard. I had seen snow several times in Wichita Falls, Texas, usually a light dusting that created a few hours of fun before inevitably melting later that same day. But a blizzard was uncharted territory.
So we prepared – stocked up on food, brought in the animals, and hunkered down with hot chocolate in hand to wait for the blizzard’s arrival. The sky looked no different than it had much of the previous week – sunny with a soft, cold breeze to brush along the few clouds that lay overhead. Aside from the word of the local weatherman, there was no indication of what was to come, but even still a deep-rooted joy began to stir within the heart of my family at the thought of a white Christmas.
That was one of the longest days of my life; anxiously expecting the sky to fall and give us the beauty it promised. We were not disappointed. On the morning of Christmas Eve we awoke to the howling wind carrying some eight inches of white powder across our yard.
I bundled up, put on my boots, and embarked out into the winter wonderland. By the evening, the storm had subsided and the world was taken over by a tranquil stillness, matched only by the deafening delight that each individual household exuded over the pale, white blanket outside their doors. And as the half, crescent moon turned itself away at the coming dawn of Christmas Day, the expectation had been met – a white Christmas.
This is what Advent is – the anticipation followed by wondrous fulfillment. Ages ago under a starry sky much like those preceding it, with little indication that anything was coming, the anticipation ended and the Savior stepped into the world as one of us. All of history had been waiting for this moment – rising like a change in the spiritual climate of the world, unleashing the fullness of God’s beautiful grand design unto His own.
Even now, as we reap the blessings of this two-thousand year old Advent, we find ourselves again in anticipation of that same coming wonder. The One who stepped into the poverty of human suffering as a lowly servant is coming back soon as a glorious King to bring His people home. So we wait expectantly, intentionally, and fervently for Him again.
1. How hard is waiting for you, especially when it's something you're looking forward to? Do you have strategies to help you pass the time?
2. Think of the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. What would have been their feelings toward waiting on the coming Messiah? How would their emotions change when they heard about Jesus (either at His birth or during His ministry)?
3. How do we wait well during this time as we expect the return of Christ?
Kyle Wilson is passionate about college students, feeling that their transition into independent, young adults is the most pivotal change in their lives. He believes college ministry should be a place for students to dwell with Christ, be developed in Christ-centered community, and sent out to disciple others. Kyle is married to his wife, Holly, whom he met while attending Dallas Baptist University.