Advent is a season of waiting. In fact, that’s literally what the word “advent” means. The prophet Isaiah spoke of the day when God’s people would experience the Light of Heaven filling their dark world and bringing salvation to those who belong to God. There was an intense anticipation in their waiting.
The Israelites could easily recall the miraculous saving power of their God, the Mighty One who delivered them from slavery in Egypt and parted the waters of the Red Sea as a pathway to their freedom. It was the swan song of their most-glorious exodus! They knew God was true to His word and they had every hope that He would save them once again.
The season of Christmas invites us to celebrate the birth of Jesus and, as the song suggests, prepare Him room. It’s a season of anticipation, wonder, and hope, as we recall the way God has rescued us in our brokenness and lostness. King David declared the wonder of God’s saving power when he wrote,
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:1-3 ESV)
Just as God delivered David, and the entire nation of Israel, God has delivered us.
God has saved us…and we are being saved even now. As we look forward to an eternity spent with God, we recognize God is with us right now. We have no reason to fear. If God is for us, who can be against us? The message of Christmas is that God came to our rescue at exactly the right time. And we have hope that He will do it again.
God hears our cries for help. He sees us struggling to stand in the face of suffering and adversity. He comes to us in our waiting and invites us to worship.
God comes as a vulnerable baby to prove to us that our vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it is a source code for surrender.
So we wait with hope. And as we wait, we ask for eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to understand the saving work of God in our lives right now.
May God put a new song in our hearts and on our lips as we wait on Him.
Indeed, all those who have been living in darkness are seeing a great light. The darkness has been defeated. Light is dawning once again.