What Are You Waiting For?
Alex Enabnit – Research Editor
Ready or not, Christmas season is upon us! This weekend we started a new series, “The Arrival,” to begin the countdown.
Caleb Baker, our Gilbert Student Pastor, gave a great message today to start our series based on Advent. For anyone unfamiliar with Latin, “Advent” means “coming” and is a longstanding tradition in the Christian church to prepare for the coming of Jesus. So in this advent series, this week we started with the topic of anticipation.
Everyday, most of us probably do as much as we can to avoid waiting. We use Keurig machines so coffee is ready instantly. We find the shortest line in the grocery store. We take shortcuts on the road so we don’t have to wait at red lights… well, maybe that one is just me. The point is, most people absolutely hate waiting and do almost anything to avoid it. This is especially true when we’re waiting through an uncomfortable or painful season.
Israel is marked by long seasons of waiting through painful events. The prophet Isaiah wrote to Israel during one such a period, around 700 BC, where they faced not only civil war and corrupt kings but also attacks and slavery by their enemies to the north. They didn’t know what was in their future or if the outcome would be good; they were filled with despair. And it was into this context that we read in Isaiah 9, where he prophesies, “nevertheless,” or, “in spite of all that has come before,” a child would be born who would be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” That this child would reign on David’s throne – the throne currently held by a corrupt king – restoring the kingdom with righteousness and justice forever. Today, we know that prophesy was fulfilled by Jesus.
What are we supposed to do with this? Caleb gave two application points:
Live in the “nevertheless.”
God can be counted on. When He makes a promise, He will follow through, always. We can be confident that in spite of all that has come before, we can trust Him with what’s next.
We’re to be focused, not anxious. We’re to be active, not frantic. We’re called to live intentional lives, not uptight lives.
Don’t just wait, anticipate.
Simply waiting is passive; anticipating is active. It is full of expectation. We aren’t just waiting around for Jesus to come back for a second time, but we’re also called to help prepare and spread the message of the Gospel and what Jesus has done for us. We can either just wait for Isaiah 9 to come or we can help to bring it about.
So… What are you waiting for?
Verses and quotes from the sermon:
Isaiah 8:22, 9:1-7; Acts 1:10-11
“the people’s champ must be everything the people can’t be.” Chance the Rapper
“You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will rest behind you. They will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.” Jor-El (Superman’s father), said to Superman
This is Amazing Grace – Bethel Music
Love So Great – Hillsong Worship
What a Beautiful Name – Hillsong Worship
God With Us – Central Music