A season of waiting.
Waiting with expectation and hope.
Hope of a babe born in a manger, a small infant that was going to revolutionize the world.
Hope of a Savior, coming back to create His Kingdom on Earth.
As we wait and hope and wonder, we also plan and shop and cook and buy and plan more. We feel the stress of the holidays by day (how do we slow down?), and sit and wonder on our beds by night.
“God, I’m waiting on you.”
“Don’t forget me.”
“Lord, let the tests come back negative.”
“Lord, let the test be positive.”
“Come Lord Jesus.”
So many things we are waiting on while we are waiting on His Return.
“What does Jesus get for His birthday?” asks a four-year-old.
How does a parent answer? Our heart? …. Of course, but somehow that doesn’t answer his question.
“But why do we get gifts when it’s not our birthday? What does Jesus want, momma?”
For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Most mornings Jake and the kids take me to the train, which I then take to work. Earlier this week I was running late, and when they dropped me off on the street, I knew I had about 3 minutes to get onto the train before it departed. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. And if I didn’t catch this train, I’d be REALLY late for work.
I hopped out of the car, jogged up the street, and as I rounded the corner and began to climb the stairs to the bridge that crosses over the street and into the terminal, I saw her. A woman sitting on the stairs, wearing a big purple coat on a morning that was slightly warm. A sure sign that she was carrying what she owned. I knew right away what she was waiting on.
“Do you have any change, ma’am?” asks the woman, who was too old to be calling me ma’am.
“Oh I’m sorry, I don’t have any money on me,” was my immediate reply. And normally that’s true– I just don’t carry cash. But that morning, I did have money. And as soon as those words were out of my mouth, I knew I was wrong. I could give her something.
“I’m sorry,” I quickly continued, giving her a half smile, thinking about that train I was about to miss. “I hope you have a good day.”
As I continued rushing up the stairs, these words filled my heart and my head:
Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”
I was filled with sorrow and regret. I caught the train with literally only a few seconds to spare. But I also missed out on an opportunity to give Jesus a birthday present.
What does Jesus want for Christmas?
A drink of water.
A place to stay.
A visit from a friend.
As I continue to move into the season of Advent, I’m reminded that the Kingdom of God has not fully come yet. Peace does not reign. We are left waiting. But I’m also reminded that as I wait in hopeful expectation, I am also charged with bringing the Kingdom of God that I’m waiting on myself.