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Tearfund: Expect the extraordinary

Explore Tearfund's online advent calendar

‘Tis the season to be jolly. At least, that’s what people say.

Looking around at the world we live in, you can probably find a lot of reasons not to be jolly. Natural disasters. Conflict. Climate change. Political turmoil. Daytime TV.

Advent itself can often seem more woe than ho-ho-ho: the shopping, the stress, the endless Mariah Carey. And, for many, the loneliness that this time of year can bring.

Perhaps you’ve accepted that this is the way things are. Or perhaps you still have hope. So you wait. You wait for that elusive moment where everything falls into place and you get that warm, Christmassy’ feeling.

Waiting is at the heart of Advent. The ancient Hebrews waiting for their Messiah. Mary and Joseph waiting for the birth of a child they’d been promised. And us, waiting for Jesus to return. 


Yet there are two types of waiting. There is a passive, disempowered waiting; the kind of waiting that looks to someone else to solve the problem; the kind of waiting that shrugs its shoulders and settles for the status quo, longing for yet not expecting change. 

Then there is an expectant waiting – a waiting that knows change is coming. This waiting is aware that the universe is being propelled forwards, and wants to live in a way that shares this hope.

Expectant hope is what we’re called to as Christians, and is what Tearfund will be exploring in our Advent series. And that’s quite a counter-cultural attitude to have – the default setting in our society often seems to be despair. 

But we know that God is good, even when circumstances are anything but. We know that redemption and resurrection are real, even when it seems like there’s no way forward. And we know that Jesus is coming back, that the river of time is running inexorably towards an ocean of justice and healing and wholeness.

We won’t stop

At Tearfund, we cling tightly to this hope. We’re faced with a world where extreme poverty is rife, where nearly 800 million people go to bed hungry every night. But we believe that change is possible, and that the church is the answer.

We won’t stop until poverty stops, and we’ll wait with expectancy for the time when God makes all things new. But we won’t sit still while we wait – we’ll work and we’ll pray.

We’d love for you to sign up for our online Advent calendar. Each day, you’ll get a new reflection as we explore the theme of expectancy. There’ll also be some surprise gifts’ behind some of the windows.

God’s love is extraordinary; when we turn our attention to him, everything changes. Even if we have to wait.

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