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Advent: Week Four. Keep Looking. Reading—Luke 21:27-28

27 Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. 28So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

Christmas comes and goes every year. November triggers dreaming about plans, gifts, road trips, snow in the forecast, clothing stretched in layers. We jaunt a little faster from our car to the store as the cold air nips at us. Life feels cozy with thoughts of Christmas. We experience the anticipation of the holidays. And once it comes, it soon passes and we start to settle back into the rhythms of ordinary life. Rarely do we remember that we are still anticipating, still waiting. This waiting is not for the Christmas season to come back around again, but for the hopeful day of Jesus’ sky-splitting return. This anticipation is about all for everything being made right, for the infestation of sin to finally be shaken off of us. As Christians, we must pay attention, be prayerful and long for this day. We should be warned again and again about how easy it is to misplace our heavenly hunger for earthly things. How easy it is to forget that this present time and space is not our final destination. As Paul boldly says, “…if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.” Oh there is a greater longing tucked down inside each of us, the want

for our heavenly home, and the establishment of God’s Kingdom here, on earth.

Waiting and expectation define the advent season. We get confused by all the fanfare, but when we settle down and sit still…when we light the last candle as a reminder of when a holy light broke into the darkness, when we proclaim with our voices that the blessings of God stretch all the way out, “far as the curse is found,” we must not go to sleep. There is more to anticipate.

The deceiver sets his fog machine, pointed over society. Wrong is right and right is wrong. We want to rule the kingdom and be the authority. Each of us is driven by the mentality that every single desire we have should be fulfilled. The motto: push and shove anything in the way to what you want. And God’s job, if there is one, is to work hard all day to serve our expectations. If he doesn’t meet them, we reject him. If he does, we thank him.

All the while as the days pass,

our insides hunger for something more.

We spin out on misplaced desires.

So, light your fourth candle.

Look to the horizon.

Hold your head up high,

and push back the distractions that take you away from watching and hoping.

Those before us awaited the prophesied birth of Jesus.

Now, we wait.

We Hope.

We Look.

We Expect.

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