sunday 20 december, 2020
Reflection: “Waiting, waiting, waiting.”
Does it feel like all we’re doing at the moment is waiting?
Waiting for the COVID19 pandemic to be over – or at least be under control.
Waiting for things to get back to being more………normal.
Waiting for the Christmas celebrations, holidays, maybe even overseas holidays!
The modern generation doesn’t seem to be particularly good at waiting.
They’re accustomed to instant gratification and are often able to have what they want when they want it, in a society where credit is so easily obtained.
Did you know that one of the fastest growing stocks on our share market at the moment, is a company called Afterpay Limited.
It was founded in 2014, however it seems to have really skyrocketed in the last year or two.
It provides a “buy now, pay later” service, so that we can get the goods we want NOW and worry about how we’re going to pay for them LATER.
I see this as both a positive service (if used wisely) and a negative risk (as it allows those who maybe can’t really afford the goods, to overspend).
Young children seem to be very impatient when waiting, especially when something good is about to happen. At this time of year, it is interesting to observe them with the presents under the Christmas Tree.
That one, wrapped with their name on it, is too much to leave alone – they poke it, prod it and shake it – what can it be?
Who remembers the trouble we probably all had on Christmas Eve, waiting for the joy (and presents) of Christmas Day to arrive.
Sleep was usually the last thing on our minds.
In this Advent period of the church’s calendar, we actually celebrate the time of waiting.
We know that for a long time, the nation of Israel had been waiting for their Messiah to arrive.
They thought that he’d be the one who would free them from captivity and restore them as the powerful nation they’d once been.
And the strange thing was, that while they were waiting, most of them missed the moment, because they were looking for a warrior king.
They missed the son of God, who came among them as a baby born in a manger, who was to become a king of peace and love.
What a pity.
All that waiting - and they missed it!
But we, with 20-20 hindsight (do you get my pun on the year 2020?) and the stories written in the New Testament section of the Bible, now know the gospel story and we celebrate and learn about the period of waiting in this season of Advent, the 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas Day.
So, I guess waiting can also be rewarding, as we discover when we hear the stories about the birth and life of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, thousands of years ago.
How must young Mary have felt in her time of waiting, knowing that she was about to give birth to the Messiah, the Son of God?
It would have been a particularly scary and worrying time for her.
First of all, she’s visited by an angel who tells her not to worry.
Oh, and by the way, you’ll become pregnant (even though you haven’t been with a man).
Then she’s informed that the baby she’ll be carrying will be called the Son of the Most High (i.e. God) and that she is to name him Jesus.
That’s certainly a lot for a young woman to wonder about during the nine months that she waits for his birth.
And what about her husband-to-be, Joseph?
He would have been waiting to find out how the news, also brought to him by an angel, would be accepted by his family and friends.
He knew that the baby Mary was about to give birth to, wasn’t his, but was a gift from God, however I’m pretty sure that there would have been some nagging doubts in the back of his mind.
I mean, this sort of thing hadn’t exactly happened before, so he had no point of reference, or person that he could talk it over with.
We read that both Mary and Joseph trusted in the Lord and knew, deep down, that all the waiting would be worthwhile, as their son would be the saviour of the world.
They are certainly good role models for us in these uncertain times.
They make our issues seem a bit trivial, compared to what they were about to go through.
Can we learn a lesson from their trust in God?
Most certainly we can.
Even in our times of waiting, I encourage you not to become impatient, and keep alert to what is happening, or you, too, may miss the moment.
God needs us to be productive, not dormant.
We need to keep our faith that God has everything under control and that he loves his creation – and that includes all of us.
I don’t think I can end this reflection any better than with the words the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome.
18/12/2020 06:23:57 pm
"God needs us to be productive, not dormant". Amen to that!
19/12/2020 10:44:07 am
Your message was inspiring. Your words were words of wisdom. I believe, that they who wait upon the Lord will renew their Strength. 2020 has been a year of waiting and we have had to be patient and Trust in God. Let us go forward into the New Year waiting on God. He is our Help and Strength.
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