Sunday, December 28, 2008

Still Waiting

I got up early today, as is common on Sundays, and listened to The Lutheran Hour (actually a half hour) on WCCO while making breakfast. The speaker talked about how God chose a specific time, the best time, to come to earth and be born as a human child - a time when political and spiritual conditions were right and proper. He, Jesus, grew as any child, and, as we explored in today's worship, eventually suffered and died for sinners like me, rising triumphant and sending his Holy Spirit which lives in those who trust him. Because Jesus was born when and where he was, the good news of his victory over death could travel the Roman roads to the dispersed Jewish community. It wasn't long before people thousands of miles away came to know the Lord.

2,000 years later, we still wait for the final fulfillment of God's plan. Next Sunday we'll hear the good news that another "fullness of time" will come. At that time all those who mourn will dance and sing for joy. But we're still waiting. During these holidays a church member languishes in the hospital, another is in hospice care, and a third was suddenly taken from us by death. Others suffer in less public ways. For so many life is so hard.

What do we do when we wait? Two things. (1) We keep going back to the promises of God, fulfilled and waiting to be fulfilled, sharing those promises with others as we have opportunity. (2) We care for and pray for those who are suffering, expressing the agape love of God the best we can. There's plenty to do while we wait.

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