Advent Reflection: 12th December - XLP

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Every day in Advent 2016 we will be sharing short reflections from authors, Christian charities and Eden team members. 

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Waiting. Few like it. Whether it’s sitting in traffic, waiting for the kettle to boil or that infamous “loading” symbol, waiting fills me full of frustration rather than joy. Advent, traditionally, is the season when we wait and prepare for the arrival of Jesus.

Maybe it’s just the term “waiting”. It makes me think of my favourite John Lewis advert from a few years ago where the little boy is waiting for each day to pass to get closer to Christmas, he’s watching the advent calendar, the clock, gazing out the window. Waiting in my head is synonymous with being bored or thinking I’ve got something better to do.

But the term “advent” is a version of the Latin word for “coming” not waiting. The season of advent is a time of preparation for what is to come. To me, advent is about hope – knowing that what I see now is not all that there is.

Back at the time of Jesus’ birth, the Jewish people were hoping for a King, someone to stop the Roman oppression; they were hoping for change, for someone powerful to come and save them. Little did they know that their hope was in a little, defensive-less, baby.

In the work that XLP do here in London, engaging with young people who are in incredibly challenging circumstances, we are constantly hoping for transformation. We hope to see God’s Kingdom come here on earth, now. Day by day we both celebrate breakthroughs, large and small, as well as grieve setbacks. We live in the tension of God’s Kingdom coming, but not having fully been revealed yet. But we are hoping that there is more going on than what we currently see – that there will be a time when our young people aren’t held back by the challenges of poverty, crime, language barriers, sexual exploitation and educational failure, amongst others.

Advent is a time when we remind ourselves that Jesus has come, but that he is also coming back. We live in a world that often seems full of despair – this year maybe has felt more uncertain than most. Here at XLP we often spend time being encouraged by Revelation 21 – that there will be a day when God’s Kingdom will fully come to earth. It will be a place where the pain we so often experience will no longer exist and where tears will not feature; a place of life and hope and joy.

This advent season I pray that you would embrace the time to remind yourself that this world is not all that there is.  That however hopeless or hopeful your current circumstances may be, that there is day coming where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Patrick Regan OBE is founder and CEO of XLP - working to create positive futures for young people living in the inner city and make a serious and sustainable impact upon poverty and educational failure. In his book When Faith Gets Shaken he shares about his personal journey of faith in difficult times. Patrick is UK ambassador for Compassion and an Honorary Fellow of the London Southbank University. 

12th December

December 12th, 2016 - Posted & Written by The Editor

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