I am sorry to keep you waiting. Waiting. No one wants to wait. We don’t like waiting. Can you think of times that you had to wait? Did you feel like you were waiting to get a driver’s license? Have you waited to get the results of a test? As students, it may be a grade on a test. As adults it may be waiting for the results of a medical test. Think about times that you have waited. I doubt many of us have positive associations with waiting.
In the beginning of the gospels, there is a lot of waiting. Elizabeth waits for her son, John, to be born. Zechariah waits to get his voice back. Joseph and Mary wait for Jesus to be born. John waits for Jesus to step on to the scene. The magi wait to find what the star is leading them to. Anna and Simeon have been waiting in the Temple for years. In the story of the flight to Egypt, Mary and Joseph wait until it is safe to return to Nazareth. There is lots of waiting at the beginning of the gospels.
Waiting just seems to be part of life. And we do a lot of waiting. But do we think about God and waiting? Did God wait for a woman who would finally say yes to giving birth to the Messiah? Did God wait until a certain time for the Messiah to come? Did God wait to see how Jesus would be received? Does God wait for people to catch on the the saving way of Jesus? Do we keep God waiting for our cooperation, our commitment, and our loyalty? Do we keep God waiting for our repentance?
Maybe we are not the only ones waiting. . .
For reflection: Think about some waiting experiences that you have had. What was it like to wait? Have you kept God waiting in some way? What might God be waiting for?
Prayer: We are grateful for patience. The patience that others have with us. The patience God has with us. And the patience we have with others and ourselves. It’s not easy to wait. But waiting can be a time of preparation, exploration, reflection, and re-creation. May we learn to wait with enough patience to be compassionate and with enough passion to be eager and ready. Amen.