A teen waits anxiously for the big dance. A young man paces the floor of the church classroom minutes before his wedding. A young couple prepare a nursery waiting for the birth of their first child. Waiting! We wait for lots of things. Some things we wait for we wish we didn’t have to do and others things are just daily parts of life. Good things are worth the wait though.
We’ve just celebrated Christmas and we’ve gone through four weeks of Advent to prepare for the event. Advent is about celebrating the coming of Christ. It’s about waiting. And the wait is worth it.
The Hebrews waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Jesus came (not the way many though he would) and fulfilled the wait. In Luke 2 we find Mary and Joseph bringing Jesus to the Temple during the time of purification and two older people find him there- Anna and Simeon. They have waited for many years and come to the temple day and night praying and preparing for this moment. Simeon knew God would allow him to live until the moment that he would lay eyes on the baby.
So now it’s Christmas and as John Lennon says, “So this is Christmas…” What does it mean? Another day? Another year?
We are still waiting. Jesus came but we still have not seen his kingdom completed. There is still evil in the air. There is still violence and pain. Jesus’ return is coming and so we still wait. The Kingdom of God came with Christ, is coming, and is yet to come.
But the wait is worth it. When it comes to God the wait is always worth it. And so what do we do while we wait?
Prayer- Anna and Simeon prayed and were in communication with God during their wait. They found strength from this intimate relationship with God. We need to live a life of prayer. Spiritual formation is something we need to take seriously. I recommend the writings of Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen and others to help you with this. St. John of the Cross’ “The Dark Night of the Soul” and other classics can make your spiritual life more vital and deepen your walk with God.
Worship- They went to the Temple to worship God. The late Robert Webber encouraged the church to take worship theologically and seriously. There is much debate on worship style (contemporary, liturgical, traditional, blended, revival, etc). People argue, split and fuss over worship. But do we even understand why we worship or what worship is? Worship is about communicating with God and speaking to God and God speaking to us. It is about an experience with God. It is a corporate time where God’s people come together to praise our living God.
Work- We live post-Easter. Jesus rose from the grave and through his resurrection we have power. In Acts at Pentecost the Holy Spirit empowered the church and still empowers the church. When we walk in the spirit we walk with confidence, courage, and conviction. When Jesus ascended into heaven the angels reminded the disciples that he would return and there was work to be done.
And so let us pray, worship, and work until he returns! Let us walk in the Spirit, trust the Son, and place our lives in the hands of the Father.