watching and waiting
I love the season of Advent. The focus is on expectation. Hope. Longing. There is an amazing Arabic word which encapsulates this anticipation – شوق (shuwq). It is used in everyday conversations for telling someone that you miss them. But it is also a yearning desire. It expresses the tension of our 2000 year wait for Jesus’ return.
The Messiah came to Bethlehem as lowly and gentle as a lamb - fully God and fully man. He walked throughout the land setting the captives free and healing every illness. He challenged death and came back to life again victorious, his victory restoring our relationship with God.
The Messiah is coming back soon as a lion. A mighty warrior for the final showdown with the kingdom of darkness. A majestic bridegroom returning for his bride.
Jesus told a parable about the attendants at a wedding where the bridegroom was delayed in his return. Five of these attendants were wise and also took oil with them for their torches. Five were foolish and took only the torches. As the cry went out that the bridegroom was spotted, the foolish attendants rushed to buy oil but arrived back too late. The parable is in Matthew 25:1-3
As we light the candles for Hanukkah or Christmas, let’s remember to also keep our lamps burning brightly and our supply of oil ready.