The time is coming when I will make a brand-new covenant...I will put my law within them—write it on their hearts!—and be their God. And they will be my people. They will no longer go around setting up schools to teach each other about God. They'll know me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the slow. I'll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I'll forget they ever sinned!"
And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for He has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear Him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.” (Luke 1:46-55)
So, Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel has come to thee, O Israel!
And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”
“Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!” (Exodus 20:19-20)
The people are afraid of God talking to them. Moses paradoxically tells them not to be afraid, but to remain fearful of God in order that they live right.
As we wait in Advent, we anticipate Christ's coming. We long to be able to talk directly with Him. We know we don't need to be afraid. After all, He came as a baby. One of us. Lowly and humble.
But maybe we need to regain some of the healthy fear. Not that we live in constant fear of obeying God so that we don't get punished, but a healthy fear like what occurs in a healthy relationship between parent and child. The child obeys the parent's instructions ("drive safely," "don't go to that party," "be home by eleven") because they know their parent gives them those directions out of love--that they want them to live well.
So, in the midst of waiting, as we look at how Christ calls us to live, let us look at God's commands as ways He shows His love to us. And let us obey, not out of fear, but out of love fore Him as well.
Be prepared. It matters how you wait.