Wednesday, December 15

AM Psalm 119:49-72; PM Psalm 49, [53]
Isa. 9:8-17; 2 Pet. 2:1-10a; Mark 1:1-8

I must admit there are times when I actually enjoy waiting and anticipating, especially when I already know for whom, or for what, I am waiting. And what joy is associated with the waiting in that context! Right this moment, I am anticipating an imminent in-town java therapy date with a good friend who currently lives in a far-away state. We’ve known each other for over 19 years and spent many hours not only working together in a laboratory but also sharing deeply in one another’s lives – we know each other. The anticipation of her arrival brings joy to my heart because I know her, and because I know she really knows me.

The joy-inducing anticipation I have for my friend’s arrival is a tangible example of the anticipation I experience during Advent, a season that has increasingly become a time of conscious and expectant waiting as I prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth. I know the One whose coming I anticipate; I know he knows me as a dearly-beloved daughter of God.

When we celebrated Christ the King Sunday in November, we sang “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” and “Crown Him with Many Crowns.” The image of Christ the King, ruling over all, was rich and powerful, and truly a blessing to consider. As Advent began, I was reminded of the picture of Christ the King painted by Frank Houghton’s poem “Thou Who Wast Rich”:

Thou who wast rich beyond all splendor,
All for love’s sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendor,
All for love’s sake becamest poor.

My thoughts also went to Philippians 2, where the apostle Paul describes the One whose coming we anticipate:

Who, being in very nature God,
Did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
But made himself nothing,
Taking the very nature of a servant,
Being made in human likeness…
And became obedient, even to death on a cross!”

Jesus left the throne room of heaven to live among humans as Immanuel, God With Us, and give his life that we might be a part of his family forever. This Jesus is the One whom we know—we anticipate the coming of this One with great joy!

I treasure the fact that Jesus knows me and knows my heart better than any friend on earth. He really knows me, and loves me as no one else can. The words Jesus spoke to his disciples on the night before he died are words I claim for myself as a daughter of God:

I am the vine, you are the branches… Remain in me, and I will remain in you…Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me… As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you…Love each other as I have loved you… I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known toyou…” (John 15)

That passage reminds me of the closeness I have with Jesus—as a branch is to the vine, intimately connected and sharing in life together. The joy of being known as only Jesus can know me—this joy also fuels my anticipation during Advent!

During Advent, we wait as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth. But our waiting is not like the prophets’ waiting, those who looked for the Messiah yet to come.  We wait with the anticipation of already knowing, and being known by, the One for whom we wait—Jesus, the Son of God. May you find great joy in your anticipation as you continue to prepare your heart for his coming on Christmas!

-Cindy Broderius

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Filed under Advent, Discipleship, Gospels and Acts, Worship

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