Friday, December 16, 2011

Waiting

Replay from last year:

There is a lot of waiting this time of year. Shoppers wait in traffic so they can get to stores and wait in line to pay for their merchandise. Students (and teachers) wait for vacation to start. Children wait to see what gifts they will receive. Other people wait for the season to be over. One thing that seems present in all the waiting is stress and conflict. Sometimes the very act of waiting causes the problems.The people of Israel were waiting. Waiting for the promised Messiah, waiting for God to speak again, and deliver his people. They had been waiting a long time. Today, we wait for that same Messiah to return and deliver us. It has been a long time.Some in Israel had grown tired of waiting and were content with just getting by. Others had put their hopes in their religious rituals, or political works. Before we are too hard on them, let us ask ourselves how we are waiting. Are we waiting for a trip off this old earth, up into the sky? Are we waiting for the right leaders to be elected or the right laws to be passed to turn our nation back to God? Have we given up and been reduced to just getting by?We are told to not become weary in doing good. Jesus is King, and one day he will return and set everything right again. Their will be justice, mercy, and peace. Creation will be renewed. The Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. That is what we wait for. That is what we long for.This Advent season remember that we wait in anticipation of a Kingdom that is here now, and is still to come. We wait in anticipation and in hope.

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Fear

Franklin Roosevelt famously said, "...the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," as he tried to encourage the American people...