November 26, 2023 | Duane Roberts
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“When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”—2 Samuel 7:12–13 (NIV)
“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.”—Matthew 1:1 (NIV)
Can I admit something to you? I hate waiting. There’s a feeling deep in my soul, something that cries out, “I want it, and I want it now.” I don’t like waiting for food to be ready. I don’t like waiting for new episodes of my favorite show. And do you know what really frustrates me? Slow internet.
We’ve become accustomed to the instantaneous. Yesterday, I ordered straws from Amazon at 10pm and they arrived overnight—5 hours later. I remember when their 5-day shipping set the standard for fast shipping, and now two days almost feels too long!
As a culture, we don’t do the whole waiting thing very well. We desire the fast and instantaneous—and when we’re forced to wait, we get frustrated and annoyed. And yet, waiting is exactly what we’re supposed to do during the season of Advent. Advent is a counter-culture.
Since Genesis 3, God’s people have been waiting for a redeemer—someone to rule over all creation and repair what was broken and damaged by sin and evil. For thousands of years, the Old Testament made promises that this redeemer-king would be coming soon.
From the day He was born, Jesus was recognized as King. However, there was nothing conventional about His kingship. He wasn’t born into a reigning royal family; there was no castle or coronation. Yet, from the moment of His birth, shepherds bowed before Him, prophets worshiped Him, and the wise men traveled far distances to bring Him gifts. Even the reigning authorities felt threatened by Him! Jesus was born a child, yet the King of kings.
When the people saw their promised Messiah, so many wondered if Jesus was the one they had been waiting for. He didn’t look anything like they were expecting! Jesus wouldn’t live in a castle or sit on a throne—he was born in an ordinary cattle stall. Instead of overthrowing the Roman Empire, He would conquer the real oppressor: sin and death. He would even tear down the racial divide between the Jews and the Gentiles! This was a different kind of King with a different kind of kingdom—and not anything anyone expected.
The kingdom of God is any place where God’s rule and reign are established. We’re told that under His rule, every tear will be wiped away and all things will be made new. Because King Jesus has already been born in Earth, his kingdom has already come to us (Mark 1:15). However, we’re also promised that Jesus is going to come again to fully establish His kingdom on Earth (Revelation 21). Theologians call this the “already and not yet.” God’s kingdom is already here; yet at the same time, the fullness of God’s kingdom is still coming.
The season of Advent is our way of acknowledging this tension. Just as Israel waited for their Messiah, we wait for King Jesus and the fullness of His kingdom. The best way to think about the Advent season is this: King Jesus has indeed come, and we wait for Him to come again.
Come to earth to taste our sadness, He whose glories knew no end
By his life he brings us gladness, Our Redeemer Shepherd Friend
Leaving riches without number, Born within a cattle stall
This the everlasting wonder, Christ was born Lord of all
Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King.
Born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all sufficient merit raise us to thy glorious throne.
—Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, Charles Wesley
Pause: What are the areas in your life where you most struggle with waiting?
Practice: Take some time today to sit in silence. If negative thoughts, unresolved situations, or unfinished work projects begin to fill your mind, surrender them to the Lord and trust that He will finish the work He began.
Pray: Lord, I believe You’re coming again and when You do, all the former things will be washed away. Under Your rule and reign, every broken thing will be made new. Come quickly, Lord. Bring Your kingdom and bring Your healing hand. Make it on the earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
Jimmy Purchase serves as the Groups Development Director at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Church Planting from Capital Seminary & Graduate School. He has been in full-time ministry since 2006, has helped plant two churches, and is passionate about seeing South Florida changed by the gospel of Jesus. Jimmy and his wife, Erin, have been married since 2008 and have three children.