Promises for Advent

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:25-26

Advent marches at caterpillar speed for children. Twitching little ones walk through toy departments, excitedly crying out, “That’s what I want! Can I have… Why do I have to wait?” Waiting—for children and adults—is one of life’s perpetual frustrations.

Our downtown church stands at the intersection of two well- traveled streets with traffic lights controlling vehicles and pedestrians. At green, crowds stream across. Then come the blinking numbers: 15, 14, 13…3, 2, 1. We twitch like children while waiting the next interminable one hundred twenty seconds.

Scholars differ on time determination, but for purposes of illustration, let’s assume it was approximately 2,000 years between the Eden promise and God’s covenant words to Abraham. Then another 2,000 years before Jesus’ birth. A core of God-followers waited through the centuries, tenaciously clinging to prophetic promises, such as Micah’s pinpointing the Messiah’s birthplace in Bethlehem.

One of those faithful followers was peasant Mary. Though young, fearful, and questioning, she would claim God’s promise even in the waiting: It’s exactly what he promised, beginning with Abraham and right up to now… (Luke 2:53 The Message)

What are you waiting for this Advent? More importantly, how are you waiting? Jeremiah, who knew what it was to wait—and weep—gives us a clue: …wait patiently… That word has as its essence the meaning of quietness. No twitching as we wait for God to do his good work, his exactly what he promised.

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