Jesus Is Coming – What Do We Expect?


Expectant Mary - Jan Haynes from Townsville Australia

Expectant Mary - Jan Haynes from Townsville Australia

Jesus is Coming: What Do We Expect? 

Christmas is coming bringing with it the hope and long of the birth of Christ, but what are we really expecting? This is a question that revolves in my mind as I prepare to celebrate Advent and Christmas this year. This is probably the most widely celebrated festival in the world, attracting the attention of Christian and non Christian alike. The expectations of Christmas can be overwhelming and it is often hard to separate our own selfish wishes from the desires for intimacy that God has placed deep within our hearts. The frenetic pace of our celebrations often stands in stark contrast to the message Christ proclaims in the gospels.

The consumer culture has huge expectations at this season, Stores everywhere are festooned with lights, blaring with Christmas music and overstuffed with merchandise. They expect that over the next few weeks we will spend more money than we have in the preceding eleven and hope that our consumer exuberance will boost their flagging fortunes.

Our churches too have great expectations for Advent and Christmas. They hope that our remembrance of the birth of a baby in a stable in an obscure Palestinian village two thousand year ago will rekindle our enthusiasm for participation in their failing programs and lack lustre events.

So what am I expecting this Advent? This is my favourite season of the church year but it is also the most challenging. I am torn between the hype of the secular culture telling me to party and enjoy myself and my yearning for a deeper walk with Christ. This I know is a time to remind myself of who Christ is and why following him is the most important priority in my life. It forces me to take stock of the year that has passed and evaluate all that has distracted me from a wholehearted commitment to God and God’s purposes.

Above all I am expecting to be changed by a fresh encounter with Christ during this Advent season. That is both an exciting and a scary thought. Knowing that the Christ child is coming is one thing, looking and listening for the signs that show me he is coming is easy. It is the encounter with who he is and what he wants to do in my life that is hard. Opening myself to be changed is never easy.  Herod knew that the Messiah was coming but he did not want to meet him in fact he wanted to kill him. The Pharisees too knew that the messiah was coming but even when the saw the signs in the heavens and heard the rumours of his birth they made no effort to go and meet him.

It was the foreigners from afar who stepped out of their comfort zones and made that gruelling journey to Bethlehem to see the child who would become the saviour of our world. And they too were changed in ways that we can only imagine returning “by another route” that led them far away from the Herods’ and rulers of this world.

So much in my life still needs to be changed by the challenge of a God of love for whom justice, mercy and compassion are more important than right doctrine and theological correctness. I want to learn to follow that God with every fibre of my being and with every aspect of my life. More than that I want to learn to trust this God in new ways know that he will never leave nor forsake me. Trusting that no matter what the future holds, my life is always in his hands.

This post is my contribution to the synchroblog – jesus Is Coming What Do We Expect? Tomorrow I will post links to others that have contributed and will then start posting additional contributions throughout Advent. I hope that you will continue to walk through this season with us.

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22 Responses

  1. […] Today’s post is a synchroblog with Christine Sine. Check out her post: Jesus is Coming—What Do We Expect? […]

  2. Thanks Christine. I’ve really needed this. It’s striking to think of how much time I’ve given to preparing for black Friday vs. preparing for Advent! I’ve looked for sales, but how much am I looking for Jesus? Yikes! Thankfully your advent devotional is out and I’ve been reading it. That has been a real blessing, but I still sense that my priorities are a bit out of line… Thanks for being a steady reminder for us to make the most of this important season.

  3. Your welcome Ed. To be honest because I just flew back from Australia yesterday I am needing some help refocusing too so it was a good reminder for me as well

  4. Loved this post. My heart too is to get to know Him more and meet Him in the everyday ordinary things. But you’re right those are just the things that can obscure Him, if we let them.

  5. Hi Christine, thanks again for your thoughts and opening a community to think about Advent together this season.

    I am interested in the community blogger project and wrote a reflection tonight, was unsure where to post, so I linked it here and on Synchroblog. Let me know if I need to put it somewhere else!

    Peace to you as you enjoy Thanksgiving as well – Liz VerHage

    http://livingtheology.net/?p=597

  6. […] Today’s post is a synchroblog with Christine Sine. Check out her post: Jesus is Coming—What Do We Expect? […]

  7. […] Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, and I’ve asked Christine Sine, an author and blogger at God Space, one of the best Advent and Lent resources around, to share a guest post about the Advent […]

  8. […] Christine Sine at Godspace – Jesus Is Coming What Do We Expect? […]

  9. […] Christine Sine at Godspace – Jesus Is Coming What Do We Expect? […]

  10. […] Christine Sine at Godspace – Jesus Is Coming What Do We Expect? […]

  11. […] Christine Sine at Godspace – Jesus Is Coming What Do We Expect? […]

  12. […] Christine Sine at Godspace – Jesus Is Coming What Do We Expect? […]

  13. […] Christine Sine at Godspace – Jesus Is Coming What Do We Expect? […]

  14. “What do we expect” is a great question. Often our ponderings and dreamings about that have become far too small.

  15. I’d say he’s got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.

  16. […] Christine Sine at Godspace – Jesus Is Coming What Do We Expect? […]

  17. Christine,

    I love how you pointed out that justice, mercy and compassion are more important than right doctrine and theological correctness.

    So true!

    Thanks for participating in the synchroblog! Don’t forget to add the link list to your post.

  18. […] morning’s post in the series Jesus Is Coming What Do You Expect comes from Ed Cyzewski.  Ed is a freelance writer in Columbus, OH, advocate for sustainable […]

  19. (Watching) for our Blessed Hope, Jesus Christ to Rapture us to the New Jerusalem(Heaven) (Blessed) are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find (watching) as shared in Proverbs 8:34, Luke 12:37, and Revelation 16:15 We are told many Times in the Bible to WATCH, and Notice Revelation 3:3 Shares those who are not Watching, He will come like a Thief. Now is the Time to Watch for King Jesus Christ, and Love his Appearing! Infact if you Love his Appearing (Rapture) you will receive a Special Crown! as Shared in the scripture 2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a (crown) of righteousness) which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only but (unto all them also that love his appearing)
    http://bibleprophecy-rapture.blogspot.com/2010/05/rapture-before-tribulation.html

  20. […] my preAdvent post Jesus Is Coming What Do I Expect, I wrote Above all I am expecting to be changed by a fresh encounter with Christ during this Advent […]

  21. […] Christine Sine at Godspace – Jesus Is Coming What Do We Expect? […]

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