Read Mark 13:1-8
Hurry up and wait, this is part of our society. You get to the airport and get into the security line as fast as you can and then you wait. You get through security and then you race to your gate and wait. We do a lot of waiting.
Or how about just driving around here? It’s a rushing race to get to the next stop light….. Then we wait. Hurry up and wait.
And this morning we hear about waiting. We hear all of this end of the world kinda talk about what is to come. The author is talking about waiting on Jesus.
“All good things come to those who wait” vs “the early bird gets the worm” so which is it? If we wait long enough will good things eventually happen? Or do we go out and be proactive and do?
Jesus says do not be alarmed, wait, it's all gonna be ok.
The thing is, when this was written they thought Jesus was coming back like soon, like in a few years. Maybe a decade. So how much longer are we supposed to wait? 2,000 years later, are we still waiting? What are we still doing waiting around? Is Jesus ever coming?
When do we stop waiting on Jesus?
After 2,000 years we are waiting a little differently than the church that Mark is writing. We’ve been waiting on Jesus so long, we don’t expect Jesus to come back in our lifetimes any longer.
We profess each week that we believe that Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. But how long do we have to wait?
The season of Advent, the waiting on Jesus time built into the church calendar, is almost upon us. Or already here by some accounting.
On Thursday, was the commemoration of St. Martin of Tours, this marks 40 days until Christmas, some super churchy folks call this St. Martin’s Advent. 40 is a pretty big biblical number you see.
(if it gave you a little anxiety when I said we are 40 days from Christmas, don’t worry, you are not alone)
We are officially 40 days out from Christmas, the waiting on Jesus time has begun. Waiting for the kingdom of God.
Hurry up and wait. This describes the period leading up to Christmas well.
Hurry up and wait. I think part of this phrase’s truth is that we are not very good at waiting by nature as humans and our society has taught us to be even more impatient.
We can get anything with a couple clicks of the mouse or taps on our phones.
But some things are worth waiting for, right?
Just one pregnant lady comment: a baby for instance.
There are things in life that are worth the wait. I’d say Jesus is one of them.
But it’s a little bit more complicated than just waiting. Because part of our waiting process is preparation. A lot of prep goes into waiting for a baby.
And so does waiting for Jesus.
And the thing with Advent is that it’s more than just waiting for Christmas. It’s actually about the Jesus coming back thing. It’s why all the readings are very end of the worldy.
But here’s the thing, this waiting for Jesus and why we celebrate the time of waiting for the coming Christ right before we celebrate his birth, it’s an exciting time, an enlivening time, it’s LIKE waiting for baby. It’s not like preparing for the apocalypse.
Preparing for the end, dooms day prepping, is radically different way to live our lives waiting for Christ. And one I would say is not faithful to the gospel message.
Jesus is coming, how do we wait?
Well, we get some hints right. Love your neighbor. Care of the poor and the orphan. When do you this for the least of these, you do it for me.
We are to spend this time waiting for Jesus in preparation. Like preparing for the kingdom of God. Preparing our world, ourselves, our communities through these acts that Jesus invites us into. Love. Care. Grace. Mercy. Justice.
Life is one big Advent, what will you do with this time? How will we wait on Jesus? Angrily at a stop light? Or making radical choices to share the love and grace that Jesus left us to share? How do we wait on Jesus?