There are not many things in my life that require me to wait. I can order a book from Amazon, it will be on my front porch in two days, free shipping, and as soon as the transaction is processed I can read it instantly on my phone. No waiting. In my study at church I have a Keurig Coffee Machine. All I have to do is drop in a pod, press the button, and within seconds I have a great cup of coffee. No waiting. I can access almost any piece of music on my iPhone and instantly listen to a wide variety of musicians perform the selection. No waiting. I can immediately get in touch with my children, wife, family members, and friends by texting. No waiting. I have an app on my phone that will give me directions to any location in the world, and if traffic is backed up for any reason the app will automatically re-route me so that I don’t have to wait in stopped traffic.
Our world, with its technology, has eliminated many of the things that at one time caused us to wait. In many ways this is a tremendous blessing. No one likes to wait for coffee, and what a joy it is to access music without going to a store or waiting for a concert. But this “immediate” world can cause us to think that all things should happen on our schedule, exactly when we want it, and that we should not have to wait for anything.
Our world has already jumped to Christmas. There was no waiting, no patience, the culture simply jumped to the holiday full force. But if Christmas means the Coming of the Holy One, of God with Us, we people of faith know that God does not work on our immediate schedule. God rarely comes when we’re expecting Him, more often than not God moves in ways that require us to practice patience and faith. God works on God’s schedule, and for us that means waiting with attentive hearts.
This Sunday we begin the season of Advent. For us Baptists we begin catching a foretaste of Christmas during the Advent season, but as we slowly light each candle of the Advent Wreath we are reminded that for ages God’s people waited for the coming Messiah. This also means that we often have to wait for God.
I could readily name several things for which I’m waiting on God. Things that I continue to pray about and carry before God, and God has not yet come for me in these places. Sometimes it would be easy to give up, to despair, and to try to take matters in my own hands. But I know that for ages and ages God’s people have waited, and even though they didn’t know when it would happen, God came.
These Advent Sundays are as important for me this year as they ever have been, and I know that for many in our May Memorial family there are important for them too.
Be patient, pray, cry out, keep watch, be alert, for God will come.