This week is the first week of the Advent season. Quite honestly, anticipating anything in a year like 2020 feels a little cruel. So many plans have been rearranged or outright cancelled. Just like many of you, I’ve felt this personally and professionally this year.
But the Advent season is all about hope and anticipation, even when it doesn’t make sense.
From a big picture perspective, it’s a reflection of the Israelites long wait for the Messiah. The Israelites had been waiting for thousands of years for the Messiah. The prophets constantly reminded them that He was coming, but then God appeared to go silent. Silence for 400 years. That would make anyone a little cynical.
In the Christmas story, we see individuals facing disappointed hopes as well – particularly reflected in the stories of Elizabeth, Zechariah, and Anna. Elizabeth & Zechariah who waited for a child year after year. Anna who waited alone in the Temple for the Messiah for decades.
And after all this waiting, they each got to be a part of preparing our world for the Lord to walk among us.
The promise the angel gave to Zechariah about their long-awaited child in Luke 1:16-17 has beautiful meaning to me this year:
“He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous-to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
In their waiting, in their disappointment the Lord was working. He was preparing them for their Messiah – the Redeemer of the World.
For our organization, we dealt with a big disappointment when COVID-19 ended both the legislative session and any hope of getting the last four hold-out legislators to vote for the pro-life Value Them Both Amendment. It didn’t make a ton of sense why God would let four individuals block a bill that is needed to protect moms and babies. But after the primary and general elections, I can see that He was preparing us to be in an even better position for the 2021 legislative session. And that is just a small piece of what He is doing.
My prayer as we begin this Advent season is that we will continue to anticipate God’s coming goodness even when it doesn’t feel like it will ever happen. And that as a result we will see His goodness all around us. It has been a year unlike any other and our hearts are weary. May we hang on to the hand that is holding us and press into what the Lord has for us in the coming days.
May your heart be filled with expectation for our coming King,
Director of Advocacy