Instant Gratification

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

December 7, 2023

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Read

Revelation 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Think

Have you ever had to wait, eagerly anticipating an event that ended up transforming your life? Whether it was your wedding day, the birth of a child, a new job, or the Rangers winning the World Series—these milestones often follow weeks, or even years, of anticipation. In a world obsessed with instant gratification, waiting is often seen as a hurdle. But is waiting truly a negative experience?

This season is called "Advent," originating from the Latin word meaning "to come" or "arrive." It's a season marked by waiting, longing, and preparing for the presence of Jesus. Have you ever considered Advent as a season of waiting, or have you become too preoccupied to truly take the time to prepare your heart for his presence? It's easy to be swept up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas while Jesus quietly whispers, "Slow down and seek my presence."

Advent isn't just about remembering Christ's first coming; it stirs up this deep longing for his return (Rev. 22:20). Picture today's church—it's a lot like the ancient believers in the Old Testament's final days. They were in exile, feeling sidelined, hoping against hope in the dark, waiting quietly for Christ to show up and make things right, just like Tolkien dreamed of 'making every sad thing come untrue.' It's a bit like being a kid on Christmas Eve, right? We're all about relishing past Christmases while buzzing with excitement for the next one. We're straddling this space between celebrating Christ's resurrection and eagerly waiting for his return. In this waiting—this observance of Advent—God's people unearth a distinctive form of joy that can only be glimpsed through the lens of worshipful anticipation.

Advent reminds us that we are pilgrims passing through, that the brokenness of this world isn't how it's always going to be, and that the true King is indeed coming soon.

Apply

Reconsider Advent as more than just a countdown to Christmas but as a dedicated season for preparing our hearts for the presence of Jesus. How can intentional waiting and preparation during Advent contribute to celebrating Christ's arrival?

Set aside a few moments each day during this Advent season to celebrate his presence. Whether through prayer, Bible reading, or journaling, create space to seek the presence of Jesus and embrace the power of waiting. At home, engage in a family activity that symbolizes waiting, such as planting a seed and watching it grow over the Advent period, reminding everyone of the growth and preparation involved in waiting for Jesus.

Pray

God, may we hear your gentle whisper urging us to slow down and seek your presence amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas. May Advent be a season where our waiting becomes a sacred preparation for the arrival of the Savior. In those quiet moments, prepare our hearts to encounter you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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