“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has now been released, and for the past several days all you can see on Facebook is memes and status updates remarking how no one wants and spoilers. Everyone wants to see it for themselves, everyone wants to experience it fresh and new, with only there on preconceptions. I on the other hand could care less – I love story, I love knowing – but for a lot of people, they want the story to be revealed as it plays out on screen (or in a book) without knowing what is coming.
Roughly fifteen years ago I wanted one particular item for Christmas, a Super Nintendo Entertainment System with the Legend of Zelda game. My best friend had it – he always had what I wanted before I did, and I wanted it so bad I could taste it. The anticipation was killing me. I knew I was going to get it, but at the same time I didn’t know, and I, as a ten year old boy, thought I was going to die. So, to save my existence, I went into my parents closet (where I knew my daddy kept the gifts), found it, and me not being able to keep a secret, told my little brother. My little brother had this gift – getting me in trouble – and he told my dad and my dad said he was taking it back, blah blah, and I was getting nothing for Christmas. I had spoiled my Christmas by looking for spoilers, instead of just waiting for the time to come. With Star Wars, people are trying to spoil people’s experience with spoilers as well. To make a long story short, I did get the Super Nintendo – I was beside myself. Likewise, those who have their Star Wars experience spoiled will more then likely enjoy, or not enjoy, the movie just the same. The lesson is though to wait, and those things promised to you will eventually come. Maybe not in your timing, but at the one that is appropriate.
The Hebrew people were waiting on a Messiah for a very long time. Through captivity – from Egypt to the Romans, with Babylonians, Greeks and the like in between – and through relatively peaceful times, they waited, longed even, for a Savior. They wanted it so bad they turned to other gods, the rejected prophets, they saw saviors in people who simply were not the one. These people, these suffering people even blamed God for not sending one, and some looked to the governments of the day for their salvation. Obviously, some had kept the faith, but as a whole, the despair and the desire is evident. They wanted a spoiler – they wanted a time, a place and a name, they wanted an explanation – a drawn out conclusion. God, on the other hand, had something else in mind entirely. Yes, He had a time, a place and a name. He had a drawn out conclusion, but it wasn’t something expected, it wasn’t something that people necessarily wanted, and because they had their own ideas, a lot of people missed it. Instead of preparing their hearts to receive the Messiah in the manner in which God wanted them to, they looked for spoilers, except these spoilers were only within their own comprehension. God, if anything, and His plans, is always beyond our own comprehension.
Choosing a virgin to bear a child makes no sense – choosing not only a virgin but a poor, lower or middle class one at best is even. Yet, this is what God did, and this, all the way until the events of Christ’s ascension into heaven – and beyond, though not making any sense to us, has been God’s plan all along.
This Advent, we all have wants, wishes and desires. instead of putting God in a box with how we “know” or want things to happen, let us instead reflect on what God has already done for us – not just us, but the whole world. We all face difficult times, yet instead of looking for spoilers, let us put our lives and situations in God’s hands, let us trust in Him. God is beyond anything we can truly comprehend, beyond anything we can explain – His ways are not our ways – and that is a good thing. For God sees and knows all, and fortunately, yes fortunately, we do not. Let us come expecting great things this Advent season as we prepare to celebrate one of the greatest miracles, and unexplainable occurrences, of all time. In those expectations, let us not turn to our own understanding, nor to the ways we think everything should happen, but let us trust in God. Let us prepare our hearts to receive the gifts that God desires to give us, the way He wants to give them to us, and in turn, celebrate the ultimate gift God has already given us, His Son, Jesus Christ.
In closing, come expecting, but stop looking this Advent season. Come with open hearts, but also with an open mind. Come humbly, and allow God to do things His way and leave our ways behind.