Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

Advent is all about the waiting. It’s an entering to the void between the time that the Messiah was promised and the time that he finally arrived. On this side of the resurrection, we are waiting again. We are waiting for the ultimate coming of the Christ.

It’s been a couple thousand years and who knows how much longer we will wait. But, wait we shall. The waiting for many has become a longing.

We aren’t the only ones who waited and wondered at the coming of Christ. In the first century the expectation was that Jesus’ return was imminent. The expectation was that he was going to return any day.

Spoiler: He didn’t.

This led many to worry about the future. Paul, in one of his longest teachings on the issue in 1 Thessalonians 5 ends with,

Therefore, encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

In this second week of Advent, the week that we focus on love, I think this is a good reminder that as we wait in the darkness one of the most important things we can do is encourage one another. Do you notice that Paul tells the Thessalonians to do this not because they aren’t but because they already and he commends them in it?

When I think of my congregation, what amazes me is all the ways that we love well. People genuinely care for each other. It’s absolutely beautiful and I’m beyond grateful to serve them.

As this second week of Advent gets going, ask yourself this question: How will I love well this week?

Originally published at on December 10, 2018.