Advent is not a frequently used word. In fact, when searching for a definition, most refer to the season of Advent (the four weeks before Christmas). But advent is a real word, I promise. It means to come or to arrive. Advent is the season we eagerly desire Christmas to come.

Waiting for something is a long lost skill. Christmas supplies and decorations now arrive in the stores BEFORE the season of Advent. Think about that… before we begin waiting, it has already arrived. Sounds like a Hollywood movie script. Delayed gratification, better described as patience, is a gift from God. This gift comes through trusting in His timing and provision over our own timing. It goes against the nature of our flesh, which is why it is called faith.

While we wait faithfully for God’s timing to be revealed, He offers us little signs of His presence, even while we wait. These signs are not of our own human choosing (like lightning strikes or lottery winnings) but of His own promising. If we are looking faithfully for His signs, we can have encouragement to endure.

This Advent season we will focus on the journey that led up to the first Christmas through various characters. Their stories are God’s signs that Jesus is the true Messiah and that He will and now already has accomplished the purposes of God through His life.

Isaiah – The prophet who promised deliverance for Israel, first from Babylon and then from Rome, in Jesus’ time.

John the Baptist – A voice in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord, the coming of Elijah.

Elizabeth – The cousin and mentor to Mary (Jesus’ mother) who saw and focused on the signs of God.

Gabriel and the Angels – Messengers from God to remind us of God’s own Word.

This Advent, practice delayed gratification and trust that God can fulfill you in every circumstance.

His servant and yours, Pastor Erik Gauss