Confession time. Sometimes I can’t help but question, it’s God’s timing - His calendar –especially because I’m so diligent about mine. It seems like my life is dictated by my calendar to the point where I’d curl up into a ball and cry without it. My dependence gets even worse during the busy times of the year, especially the holiday season. I need to know what’s going on each day, and even each hour.
I need to plan. I need to be ready. The stress behind these constant events, plans, appointments, activities, and you-name-its can be crushing. These are just the day to day things too. There are so many long term hopes, goals, and fears that are in the back of my mind on top of everything. I ask God to “give us each day our daily bread”, for God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.
The problem is that, at least for me, He never seems to be willing to mark my calendar for me regarding WHEN He’ll answer me with His help. I’m sure I’m not alone in secretly being frustrated that God won’t work according to my calendar and my timing. He won’t even let me know WHEN He’s planning on working. And if I’m going to be really honest with myself, sometimes I even secretly fear the IF: IF He’s planning on helping me at all. Those frustrations and fears only grow over time, especially on those things I’ve been praying about for months and even years.
Advent answers these frustrations and fears. Advent is the season of waiting. The word advent literallymeans the arriving, or the coming, and that is what we celebrate- God’s arrival here for us. During Advent we are waiting for the arrival of the Lord, in every sense. We look backward to the nativity, when Christ was made flesh for us to die upon a cross, but we also look forward to His promised return.
The blessing of this season is that we are waiting for things that have already happened. Jesus has already taken on human flesh, and He has died upon the cross for you. When He said “it is finished” He meant it. Your sins are forgiven, and you are guaranteed the Crown of life. Your judgment day has come and gone, and it was proven Easter morning. Christ rose from the dead! We are promised that same resurrection on the Last Day!
God has already done everything for you, and while we may not know the exact date He will return in glory, we are absolutely sure of our future. Every last prayer to God for help, for answers, for life and salvation find their power in that moment when Christ breathed His last for you. It is finished.
This reminder couldn't come at a better time. This season we seem busier than ever getting everything ready, but you are not alone in your frustrations, fear, and need. Christ has been made flesh. He has died. Now we wait to celebrate birth, and we also wait for the end, but at all times He is with us.
Christ has come to us in Word and Sacrament. He is with us in His Word, in the waters of Holy Baptism which clothe you in the robes of heaven each and every day, and He is with us in His very body and blood for the forgiveness of your sins. In the midst of all of your fears and frustrations, you are not alone. He is Immanuel. God with us.
This season of advent we celebrate all these truths with faithful hearts full of the joy of knowing that we don’t need a calendar for God. We are always ready because He has sent His Son and even His Helper to be with us daily. Whatever struggles you face, you are not alone. God is not only working now to help you. He has already worked. Praise to His name this season! Come, Lord Jesus.