Advent is a season of waiting. It reminds us of the importance of waiting. And we are reminded of how much we don’t like to wait. It is a season of, in Paul’s great triad, faith, hope, and love.

There is light to break forth upon those who sit in darkness. That’s God’s promise in the coming of the Messiah; by faith, we are assured of it. And hope is our inner sight of seeing things that have not yet come. Love? Love is the way we live in the meantime, caring for the ‘other’, no matter who they are.

And these three, faith, hope, and love tell me that God in God’s goodness will, through the Son and the Spirit, accomplish God’s Kingdom and that Kingdom will gather ground. It will encroach on the enemy territory through God’s people. It is both here and yet to come in fullness. “The Kingdom of God is here”, said Jesus.

Covid, cancer, and other diseases will be eradicated. Political rivals will learn to get along for the good of the nation and the world. Life in Haiti will improve. The lame will walk. The blind will see. Immigrants will find a path to citizenship. People of all colors, genders, and ethnicities will be treated as brothers and sisters. The good news will be preached. You can add your own personal hopes to the list. And yes, the lamb and the lion will lie down together; and one day the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).

Faith believes and trusts the God who promises. Hope sees it. And love will make it happen.

In the meantime, we wait….


Rev. 3:20 “Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

This is a great Advent passage but not for assumed reasons. Most people connect this scripture with evangelism conversation whereby a person is invited into a relationship with Christ. Jesus is standing at the entrance of your life (the door). He is knocking, desiring for you to ‘invite him into your life’. The painting of this scripture shows that there is no door handle on the outside meaning it’s up to YOU to do the inviting.

But that’s not really the context for this passage. Rather, Jesus is speaking to the lukewarm church of Laodicea who think they are doing just fine, thank you. They have acquired wealth and don’t need a thing.

But….there are people outside this church who are missing out on life while the Laodiceans don’t really give a hoot. The church is safe and comfortable and probably wants to be left to its own strategy. Jesus is upsetting the applecart by telling them they need more than what they have. They need what he can offer.

And here’s the thing. The person outside the door is the one who is hungry, hurt, imprisoned, naked and in need. (See the final judgment scene in Matthew 25.) And Jesus is saying ‘open your arms to the least of these, the ones in need. Invite them into your life and in so doing you will be ministering to Jesus himself. WE will sit down and dine together. And you might not even know it’s Jesus according to Matthew 25.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “Christ is standing at the door; he lives in the form of a human being among us.” (From a Christmas sermon preached by Bonhoeffer)

The waiting of Advent time is the time of welcoming our neighbors, loving our neighbors in the person of anyone in need. That’s what it means to be a servant of the master and an ‘overcomer’ as stated in verse 21. You don’t overcome the world by just inviting Jesus into your life. Most anyone can do that.

The master is tarrying and in the meantime he is building his Kingdom of servants and friends to work and live with him as this creation is being restored. In the time of waiting we are the hospitable bride welcoming those in need until the groom arrives at which time the feast will begin. And the ones who ‘GET IT’ – well, they, in all their humility and hospitality, get to be enthroned with Jesus. {Revelation 3:21}

Wait, I think I hear someone at the door.