Advent blog series – Week 1 – Hope in Transition


Advent is the time where we revisit one of the central themes of our Christian faith – Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us; God is always with us, always for us. In the process of remembering the God who ‘put on flesh and moved into the neighbourhood’, we re-enter a preparation time, a period of ‘making room’ for Him in our hearts and lives. If the Kingdom of God really is established in the hearts of men, women and children, and not in land, dominion and power, then Advent becomes a time for bit of a heart clear out, a time to remove some things that keep us stuck, cluttered and even imprisoned.

In realigning with Jesus and making room for Him, we posture our hands and hearts in an open position, surrendering and letting go.

So, as followers of Jesus we journey as pilgrims through seasons in our spiritual lives. It’s easy to get comfortable in each season, so we develop a reluctance to transition into the next space that God is leading us into. A close look at the advent narrative shows that each of the characters enters a liminal space of transition as they embrace the call of God into something new.

This Advent we’re going to look at the traditional themes – Hope, Peace, Joy, Love – and how they help us through transition.


The old Christmas carol encourages, “Let every heart prepare Him room….” Making room for something/someone indicates that others things must go.

Each Autumn deciduous trees begin the process of losing their leaves, letting go of what is no longer necessary and preparing for a season of wintering, where roots grow deep in the soil. No fruit or budding occurs until the warmth of spring. This is a beautiful cycle of death and resurrection.

Like the Autumn trees, we must also notice the things in our lives, the dead leaves, that we’re being invited to let go of. It’s tempting to grip too tightly to these things, they often bring comfort and assurance. But holding onto false comforters means we’re not ready to take hold of the new thing God is inviting us to pick up. Another way to put it would be, we’re not making room for new growth, new budding!

In winter we remember and put our trust in all that God is doing beneath the surface. God is always working, even if we can’t see it, we can choose to believe. Wintering reminds us of the need to ensure our roots grow down deep into good soil, even when there is no fruitful evidence.

Creation itself has HOPE in the coming of Spring. It doesn’t worry or fret or wonder if it will ever see abundance again. Creation willingly enters wintering, lets it do what it intends, and then strengthens itself for the coming weight of Spring glory.

So preparing our hearts for Jesus this Advent means having a good clear out of old dead leaves we’re holding onto, things we don’t need anymore, things that aren’t life-giving for us anymore. This is a hard process if we can only manage to cast our gaze to the near future and prospect of wintering, where despite its stark beauty, there’s simply an apparent barrenness, dark and cold.

But God has been found to be faithful and true, a trusted Provider and Lover of His people. When we know that the wintering of our roots is going into good soil, we learn that submitting to the journey and the natural process of the spiritual seasons brings forth the glorious fullness of Spring……and that births HOPE within our hearts, hope of what is coming, hope in a coming King, hope in the River of Life from whom all will be satisfied, hope in the One who walks freely among his people, hope in the fragility of a baby born into war, oppression, exile to usher in the restoration of all things and a final resurrection!

This blog was written by Jon Timms, a member of our 24-7 Prayer Scotland Team, the Leader of Discovery Church Dunbar and a lover of all things adventure.

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