I often feel that I spend my life in a perpetual season of waiting, a constant state of longing. I long for a renewed sense of purpose, I long for healing in broken areas of my life, I long to meet and love the man that God is preparing for me, and I long to know my life has impacted the world. I am constantly in longing and it is this unending waiting which can rob me of the joy of the present. I can find myself so caught up in the anticipation of future happiness that I am unable to fully experience the joys of today.
A spirit of longing marks Advent itself. If I must be caught up in anticipation of future things I would hope it would be in the spirit of this season. The word Advent is derived from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming”. It is a time of preparation and reflection. As we reflect on the Hebrews who waited on Christ before us we echo that same act now.
Wrapped up in this yearning for Christ is a desire for freedom. People, across each continent, now echo the same cry for freedom of oppression first expressed by Israelite slaves. For some it is a desperate appeal for autonomy from sin and brokenness and for others it is a plea for physical freedom from their oppressors.
The Advent season provides an opportunity for deeper reflection and solidarity with those experiencing injustice. This is a chance for unity founded in a shared desire for deliverance from brokenness, illness, poverty, human trafficking, and injustice in all its forms. It is a shared cry of longing for a God who hears us and participates in our grief as well as our hope. If I must be in a constant state of longing I pray it would be for a God who brings peace and justice and righteousness to the world.