WS Update: Waiting

December 6, 2021

Advent is waiting. Waiting for our king Jesus to return. 

“Hurry up and wait” was a common family saying when I was younger. It meant that we children had to be ready to go sooner than necessary, so that our parents could get ready and not have to wait for us. In practice, it meant uncomfortably sitting in the station wagon dressed up to go somewhere, just waiting and waiting and waiting.

People are generally bad at waiting, even for a good thing. Sometimes waiting in Advent feels like my childish boredom, frustration and impatience: “Why does it take so long?” Sometimes it feels unreal and unending: “Is he ever coming back?” Sometimes it feels urgent and frantic, as if we are unprepared or unwilling to enter his presence: “How could someone like me ever be worthy?” Sometimes it feels like a distraction, as if other activities are more important. 

God’s Old Testament people waited nearly a thousand years for their Messiah to arrive. Their wait was so long and their days were so hard that their faith faltered. They drifted into darkness, despair, and wandering. The prophet Isaiah spoke words of hope as he looked ahead to a time when all of that waiting would be over. Isaiah 9 begins: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” 

When Jesus arrived, most of them missed the signs. They were ready for something that was almost, but not quite right. The Messiah of their imagination and the true Messiah were different. As John 1 states: “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”

He promised that he would return, and as God’s new people we can wait with great expectation. Waiting is not a passive activity, however. We can “hurry up” and prepare by devoting ourselves to his word, encouraging one another, and reducing distractions that lead us astray. And we can “wait” in prayer, worship, and service.

Romans 8:24-26 offers God’s gracious intervention into our weakness (from Eugene Peterson’s translation): “Waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.”

Member Meeting

All members are encouraged to attend a brief special Membership Meeting at 8 pm tonight, December 6, 2021, via Zoom called by our elders and trustees.

During the meeting a member of our elder board and trustee will explain a proposed mortgage refinance offer. As a Redeemer West Side member, we ask that you make every effort to attend so we can proceed quickly. We not only need a quorum, but more importantly we need your partnership in our church.

Register to receive Zoom link.

Elder/Diaconate Nominations

This is the last week to nominate members you know who have been gifted in leadership and walking alongside others. These members will serve our church in important ways as a Deacon, Deaconess, or Elder.

Nominate a member

Coming up at RWS