Follow Christ, Lead the Way
 Advent: A Season of Expecting Unexpectedness image

by Amber Ginter, Senior, English Major

“While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby.  She gave birth to her first son. She wrapped him up well and laid him in a box where cattle are fed. She put him there because the guest room was full.” (Luke 2:5-7, ERV).

In Luke chapter two, the prophecy of the Messiah described in Micah 5:2-5 is fulfilled.  Here, though Luke is primarily concerned with the oppressed and how Jesus is going to help them, Bethlehem becomes a pivotal location for an unexpected baby lying in a less than expected stable.

Anticipating the coming of something or someone that was prophesied to transform the world radically, you could say that the people of Israel were less than thrilled when the waiting that had now come to an end, fulfilled less than what their hearts were hoping.  After all, waiting isn’t a pleasant thing for us, now is it? 

We want our Christmas presents, and we want them now, we want our chocolate-chip cookies with milk for Santa, and we anticipate him at this very moment, we want the best bargains at shopping malls, and we chase people down to fulfill these temporary desires.  But what if part of the true meaning of Advent meant something more?  What if in the waiting, we too, like the people of Israel missed the most significant entrance of the greatest being in history because we were too concerned with expecting what He would look like and when we wanted Him to arrive?

Eagerly waiting for redemption, the people of Israel craved to be saved, and they desired it right then.  After waiting, waiting, and waiting some more, they longed for the Messiah King to show up and destroy Rome.  But when a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a smelly manger shows up instead, they are unable to accept Him, for He did not look like what they wanted Him to.  And in the danger of this, we too, today can fall into this trap of not realizing that He hasn’t just come but is coming back again, and we are expecting this second coming.

As Christians, we are waiting in anticipation for Jesus to come, but while we are waiting, let us not forget to be actively involved in the now, and press on in hope amidst the feelings that make us want to give up.  In fact, waiting again, I must note is not easy, and more often than not, it is the least desirable thing that we want to do.  Our hope shows up as lackluster as the fruitcake under the tree, and the twelfth pair of fuzzy socks that we don’t need, so in our minuteness, we miss the blessing.

In the redemption of Israel, the people were too busy constructing their own views of what Jesus would look like rather than appreciating His arrival of love, hope, joy, and peace that had finally come; that is, they didn’t honor the treasure they were given because they failed to recognize it until it was too late.  Unable to see the beauty behind a smelly stable, shredded cloths, and a quiet baby lying in the manger, this season don’t make the same mistake. 

“Advent is the season of already here, but not yet come.  We know that something better is coming, but we must anticipate that which is coming as we wait in hope,” reflects Rev. Aaron Duvall, Director of Spiritual Formation.  The best is yet to come in those unexpected packages- even those of the awaited Advent period that are often expected in their unexpectedness.  

 

To read another article about Advent and the Christmas season click here

Articles of Interest

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Students Serve Alongside WGM in Uganda

Students Serve Alongside WGM in Uganda image

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At the end of May, a team from Ohio Christian University traveled to Uganda to serve alongside World Gospel Mission missionaries already working in the area. This trip would best be described as a vision trip rather than the typical mission work some may think of. The team got to see many different ministries the missionaries are working with as well as support them through fellowship and prayer. During the two weeks the team was abroad, they worked with a wide range of ministries, one of which is known as the Dignity project, providing women and girls with reusable feminine products
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Gerald Murphy Encourages Revival image

Gerald Murphy Encourages Revival

Gerald Murphy Encourages Revival image

Published: October 16, 2019

Gerald Murphy (’13) had one goal in mind for the campus of Ohio Christian University as he spoke during Fall 2019 Revival Week, and that was to have an encounter with Christ. Murphy, a graduate of Ohio Christian, encouraged students to let go of their former selves and take on their new identity as sons and daughters of God. In order to take on this new identity, Murphy said that one must first stop self-identifying as a sinner saved by grace. “If you continue to call yourself a sinner,” he said, “you’re going to keep acting like one.” Next, one must stop relying on their own actions
Gerald Murphy (’13) had one goal in mind for the campus of Ohio Christian University as he spoke during Fall 2019 Revival Week, and that was to have an encounter with Christ. Murphy, a graduate of Ohio Christian, encouraged students to let go of their former selves and take on their new identity as sons and daughters of God. In order to take on this new identity, Murphy said that one must
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Ohio Christian Hosts Youth Explosion

Ohio Christian Hosts Youth Explosion image

Published: July 29, 2019

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Ohio Christian University was happy to host the Youth Explosion camp on July 25 through 28. The camp was organized by the Marion Christian Center’s Youth Ministry. The event was meant to provide the opportunity to experience God in a real and impactful way. “This year, the theme is that God made them special and how to discover their gifts and talents to glorify Him” said Marion Christian
Ohio Christian University was happy to host the Youth Explosion camp on July 25 through 28. The camp was organized by the Marion Christian Center’s Youth Ministry. The event was meant to provide
Easter - the Extraordinary Found in the Ordinary image

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Published: April 18, 2019

By Rev. David Brown, Associate Professor, Religion
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Archived Articles of Interest

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The OCU Religion Department Welcomes New Students into its Learning Community image

Published: September 23, 2014

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The students, staff, and faculty of the Religion Department gathered Monday evening to share in information and fellowship --- a kick-start to the new academic year with the professors giving insights to the students on how they can be successful within the department and in their future ministries.Dr. Rick Christman started the evening with a warm welcome, and then introduced each of the
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A Model of Faithful Giving image

A Model of Faithful Giving

A Model of Faithful Giving image

Published: October 2, 2013

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Published: June 7, 2013

Four years ago he was denied a promotion due to his lack of a degree. His children were headed down the same road with the all too common attitude, “If it was good enough for Dad then it’s good enough for me.” But Ted Murphy wanted more for himself and more for his children. Two weeks later he registered for classes at Ohio Christian University to begin working on a Bachelor of Arts in Business.It really should come as no surprise that Ted Murphy would go back to school to get his degree when you see how he honors God in his community, church and workplace. Serving as a North Lewisburg
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