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What are You Waiting For?

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What are you waiting for? This is a question I’ve been known to exclaim occasionally when I’m behind a car at a stoplight that has turned green without them moving. Sometimes it is at an intersection when I’m waiting for the car in front of me to turn right. What are you waiting for?  If you’re a parent, maybe you’ve found yourself shouting this at your kids when you’ve been trying to get them to do something and they’re still just sitting around.

What are you waiting for? Usually it is a phrase borne out of frustration.  But it doesn’t need to be.  Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question? What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for in your life? Maybe you’re waiting for that new job or promotion to come along at work.  It would mean more money that you could definitely use. Maybe you’re waiting to be old enough to move out of your parents’ house and be on your own. Maybe you’re waiting for that right person to come along so that you can fall in love and get married just like all of these Hallmark Christmas movies that have been playing endlessly during this month of December. I bet the list of things that you’re waiting for is pretty long. 

The church currently finds herself in the midst of the season of Advent.  The season of Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas and it is a season of waiting. I can remember as a kid how hard it was to wait for Christmas to come.  Slowly the season would start popping up after Thanksgiving.  Usually on the first weekend in December, My dad, uncle, brothers, and I would go out and cut down our Christmas tree.  Our decorations would start going up – first the lights on the house and then the tree, its lights and ornaments, the nativity scene, and anything else that was in the boxes we brought down from storage.

Over the coming weeks, packages would be arriving in the mail from family who were too far away to be together with us for Christmas.  We’d watch the Christmas specials on TV like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  Waiting, and waiting, and waiting for what seemed to be an eternity before Christmas arrived.

And every night, after dinner we’d have our family devotions.  We’d read the devotion, sing a hymn, and light a candle on the Advent wreath. This was probably the best sign that Christmas was getting closer. There are only four candles on the Advent wreath and one gets lit every week of Advent. The closer we got to all four candles being lit, the closer we were getting to Christmas.

I have to tell you, now as an adult, I have many of the same practices with my family, and yet somehow the time doesn’t seem to go nearly as slowly as it did when I was a kid.  Already, this past weekend we lit the second of the four Advent candles and I had to do a double take to make sure that it was right. Waiting sure changes as you grow up.  We might wait for different things and the time might pass more quickly, but we still find ourselves waiting.

Christmas is a wonderful thing to wait for every year.  It’s a celebration of something that God’s people had been waiting for over many centuries and yet it was something that happened at just the right time. Saint Paul tell us in Galatians 4, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. When just the right time had come God sent his son Jesus into the world to rescue you from your sin, from the power of the devil, and from everlasting death.  This is what we celebrate at Christmas time, Jesus the savior of the world, entering the world to dwell with his creation – you and me.

Paul goes on to tell us, “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” We have been adopted into God’s family and given the promise of an inheritance that comes to us when Jesus returns.  You see, on that day, all who believe in him will be gathered together to live with Jesus for eternity.

As Christians we patiently wait for that day with a great anticipation.  On that day that Jesus returns, everything will be made perfect again just like it was in the Garden of Eden.  All of your pain, suffering, sickness, sadness, and even death will be gone forever.  It will be an awesome day.  It’s good to wait, Jesus has promised he’ll return and his promises never fail.

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