Advent Reflection: 21st December - Tanya Marlow

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Every day this Advent we will be sharing reflections from Christian authors. Today's is by Tanya Marlow.

Eden Advent Devotional

Waiting for Christ as Pregnancy

Advent is a season that celebrates waiting. Just as the Old Testament pants with longing for Christ’s birth, we also long for Christ’s return.

At least, that’s the theory. Most of the time we forget.

When I was pregnant, there was a brief window in the middle of my pregnancy in which I could eat Chinese food again without feeling nauseous (impossible in the first trimester), and I could get off a sofa without having to do it in three stages (impossible in the third trimester).

In that golden middle stage, it was easy to forget that I was expecting a baby. I lived my life as normal, and only when I looked in the mirror at my changed silhouette or felt the fluttering in my womb from the baby’s kicks did I remember that I was waiting for a baby to be born.

For most of us, it is hard to remember that one day Jesus will return and this world will be unwrapped to reveal a new heaven and earth. Like Jesus’ forebears, who longed for his coming on earth, we long for his return.

Except that we don’t long for it, not every day. 

Most days we just long for a better version of this life. 

For the most part we go through our daily lives as normal, because we cannot hold too much wonder in our hands at once.

Remembering the doctrine of Christ’s return and our own mortality, particularly if we’re feeling happy and comfortable in this life, may give us an uncomfortable twinge of pain, reminding us of what’s coming. The doctrine of Christ’s return is therefore unsettling. It reminds us of the challenge to not become too comfortable here among the cinnamon treats, twinkly lights and saccharine music.

Christ has come. Christ will come again.

As we remember Christ’s first coming as a wanderer, a refugee in his infancy, we remember also that we are travelling through this world.

Though we may have put down roots in good lives, we are not home yet. 

In Advent, let’s celebrate the spiritual value of being unsettled and uncomfortable in this life. Let's raise our eyes above the baubles towards the greater light to come. 

A prayer for Advent:

Lord Jesus Christ, 

The prophets and patriarchs yearned for your arrival;

The angels exploded in song when you came; 

When we ache for more in this world,

May we redirect our gaze to you and your glory. 


May we never grow too comfortable in the tinsel of this world,

And yearn, with creation, for the day that you return and restore all things. 

Lord Jesus, be with us as we wait.

Amen 

An adapted excerpt from Those Who Wait – Tanya Marlow (Malcolm Down Publishing, 2017

Tanya Marlow bubble

Formerly a lecturer in Biblical Theology, Tanya Marlow is a writer, speaker and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. She is the author of Coming Back to God When You Feel Empty(2015) and a contributor to Soul Bare (IVP 2016). You can find her in a vicarage in Devon reading fairy tales to her son or via her popular blog, Thorns and Gold, tanyamarlow.com

21st December

December 21st, 2017 - Posted & Written by The Editor

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