Waiting is always hard. You can smell those cookies baking. You watch the clock hands move. And it seems interminable. So you try to hurry it along. You open the oven before the cookies are done. You attempt to make the clock hands move faster by sheer force of will. But nothing works. Waiting is inevitable and difficult.
That’s why Jesus never just says, “Wait!” There was always something else. “Watch and wait.” Or, “Keep awake and be ready.” Waiting is not empty time. It is time for doing important work. We’re waiting for Jesus, for the kin-dom of God, for fulfillment. So our waiting is learning to live as though it is already here. We practice kin-dom living every day. Yet, we always know there is more. That’s what Second Thessalonians is telling us: Don’t assume we’re done; don’t assume this is the best it can get. We don’t wait with eyes closed, acting as if this life doesn’t matter because there will be a day when someone else sets it all right. No, we wait by working with the Spirit to build the someday that is coming.
We need a vision of what is possible. The someday we long for is fulfillment, the blessed community, the experience of love. When we get a taste of it, we can rejoice. We can comfort our hearts and take strength from that experience, that kiss of grace. We strive for more, for justice, for peace, and for mercy in this life. We can smell those cookies baking and wait with hope.
Loving God, we wait for the fulfillment promised by your Son. May we never give up hope—may we never stop leaning into someday. Walk with us so that we can see and know the kin-dom. Amen.
Following the return from exile to Babylon, the people of God have much work to do to restore the city of Jerusalem. Haggai is one of the prophets sent by God to encourage them. God promises future material blessings for the people and a time of peace. The psalmist praises God and declares that future generations will tell the stories of God’s wonderful works. In Second Thessalonians, Paul addresses a group that is disturbed because they think they have missed the return of Christ. He assures them that they have not missed the time and admonishes them to persevere in their faith. In Luke, Jesus is asked about marriage in the resurrection, but he focuses on God as the God of the living.
Read Haggai 1:15b–2:9. When have you relied on God’s promises for the future? How did your faith in God’s provision keep you focused on the long-term goal?
Read Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21. How can you share God’s majesty and justice with the next generations?
Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17. How do you live a disciplined life, trusting in the Lord whether or not the end is near?
Read Luke 20:27-38. How can you be open to the unexpected ways God will answer your questions?
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