December 01, 2022 | Letters from the Lead Pastor by Brandon Lenhart
Waiting. Why is it so hard to wait?
We get frustrated waiting too long for our food to cook. We get frustrated if we wait too long in a drive-thru. We get impatient waiting for the day we can graduate from school, or for the kick-off to the season of a sporting event, or for a birthday or a wedding, or an anniversary.
What about holidays too? Easter, 4th of July, Memorial Day Weekend, and Christmas. As a kid, I used to struggle to wait for Christmas, especially after Halloween. I knew that Christmas was just around the corner, and it was all I could do to keep my mind occupied on daily tasks without the distractions of what Christmas was going to be like that year. I couldn't wait for the gifts that would be placed under the tree, the family I would see over dinners and caroling, and the special pageants and programs and Christmas movies that would come. There's something so mesmerizing and magical about that time of year that makes it so hard to wait.
In the Bible, we read so many stories of people who had to wait. Abraham and Sarah, waited until they were elderly to have their first child. David, waited for nearly 11 years to become king after he was anointed by Samuel for the kingship of Israel. And the whole Jewish nation, who, over millennia waited for a Messiah to come and break the chains of their bondage and pain. And much like the Jewish people (before Christ), we too get impatient for the coming Messiah. What do I mean? Well...
The Jewish people, even through the prophecies of Moses, knew that someday there would be a Messiah (or, "Anointed One") who would come and establish a kingdom that would last forever. This kingdom would have no equal and would be the most powerful and benevolent kingdom the world had ever known. The One who would establish this kingdom on earth, would reign forever according to the plans and purposes of GOD, and this kingdom would be a kingdom of peace and joy.
who would establish this kingdom on earth, would reign forever according to the plans and purposes of GOD, and this kingdom would be a kingdom of peace and joy. This kingdom would not be recognized until the birth of one seemingly insignificant child, to some seemingly insignificant mother, in some seemingly insignificant community in the region of Judea during first-century Roman rule. Most of the Jews who had been raised with the stories of the coming King of kings, and Lord of lords, would miss His coming. The one they had been told about for so long, and for whom they had waited for so patiently, would not be recognized ("He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him" John 1:10-11, NLT.). However, it's through His life that the world would come to know what real life really is, and it would be through His death that the world would see what GOD's wrath looked like against a sinful world, and it would be through His resurrection that all would see that death cannot hold in the grave one who not only is love, but also the ones who are surrendered to that love in submission to Him ("But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God" John 1:12, NLT).
Today, much like the Jewish people of the Old Testament, we too are awaiting another Advent. The first Advent resulted in the coming of the Messiah through the birth of a virgin, the next Advent will result in the skies being rent into and a trumpet sound so loud that the whole world will hear. This time there will be no mistaking the Messiah's arrival. So, this Christmas season, are you waiting patiently, and are you ready if He comes? Let's not be like those when He arrived as a baby in a manger and not recognize Him. Let's be faithful people who have surrendered all to Him and look forward to His arrival.