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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Dear Thames

This is Advent

Finals week.



A week filled with Quizlets, begging friends for Scantrons, coffee, and the Harry Potter Film Scores 1-7 playlist on Spotify. A week filled with anxiety, nice emails to professors, racing hearts, and weariness.


In a lot of ways, it’s a week filled with waiting. Waiting for exams to be over. Waiting for grades. Waiting in the Starbucks line. Waiting for a professor to tell you if she curves grades (same). And yes, even IMC majors have a final or two.


But what if our waiting was filled with expectant joy rather than a wish to speed up time? What if this waiting culminated in something better than the three numbers that our college years is seemingly defined by? What if we also spent time appreciating a different waiting period, a reflection on of the birth of Jesus Christ? What if we truly spent time appreciating Advent?


“The birth of the child into the darkness of the world made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it.”  Frederick Buechner

It’s the season of HOPE! We may not make the grades we’re wishing for, but God has granted us something beyond our wildest dreams. We may not know what we’re wrapping up for Mom to open on Christmas morning (sorry, you’re hard to shop for), but we know of the gift that God gave us on Christmas and still gives: Jesus Christ.


Christ has come to bring new life and new joy to all people. And you are on this campus to grow and bloom for Him. Don’t forget that this week. Don’t let your test anxiety overshadow God and His GIFT. Don’t give Satan the opportunity to ruin this Advent season of waiting for something so very good.


“The answer to deep anxiety is the deep adoration of God. And the greatest gift we can give our great God is to let His love make us glad.” -Ann Voskamp

This is Advent. Adoring Him in the midst of chaos. Clinging to Him moment by moment. Trusting his good and perfect will. Working hard, but with a purpose: to use this knowledge and experience to love and serve. Expecting the GOOD that this season brings… A hope, a joy, a peace.


So lift up this praise and let your hearts be light. Oh come let us adore Him! This is Good News that will bring great joy to all people (Luke 2:10)! We may be up until the wee hours, but oh the dawn of redeeming grace! Join the triumph of the skies, for in the manger lies our hope and the saving of our souls. Waiting with joy and hope and praise: this is Advent.


Prepare Him room this week. Open up the Good Word, play Christmas hymns, and spend time praising God’s gift of Jesus Christ. No exam will ever compare to this season. This isn’t just finals week, this is Advent.


Let us prepare Him room, Lord. Let our hearts not be overcome with worry, but with praise for our Newborn King! May we join the triumph of the skies, knowing that Your Gift of Jesus deserves our time and reflection. May we remember that hard work is honorable, but so is praise to You. May we dig into Your Word, waiting and reflecting, all while remembering that this is Advent.

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