Two Sundays ago we started to wait for Jesus' arrival again as the church began a new year of grace. Emmanuel—God with us. With so much in this century happening so fast you could call it instantaneous, the idea of waiting for anything feels countercultural because it is against the norms and habits of the dominant culture or way of doing life.
Yet waiting for light during the increasingly long days of December in the northern hemisphere feels like a natural and a wise thing to do. We assume a posture of patience amidst the urgency of knowing light is life at least as much as water is life. Jesus arrived on earth two millennia ago; in the power of the Holy Spirit the church continues his active presence here, but we still long for, wait, and hope for the fullness of Jesus here and now. We wait to celebrate Nativity again, to sing "Word of the Father, now in Flesh appearing" again.
Life essentials have become faster than they used to be. Fast food (comida rapida around here), instant breakfast. In contrast to snail mail that contrasts with pony express of ages past, we have instant messaging. People even tend to prefer texting to emailing because, ya know, emails are too slow. Fast fashion. Quickly assembled, with instant appeal because this style is trending today. Who cares about tomorrow? About yesterday?
Hey readers, the food, the fashion, the communications only look quick. None of them is instant in the least. Do you know how much time the ingredients spent growing, the farmers harvesting, trucks transporting, cooks preparing? What it takes to grow cotton, spin yarn, cut sew knit package ship? How about the centuries of tech that made DM, IM, text—and even email possible? Life never is instant.
Do you know how long God's people waited for a redeemer? How long did Jesus the primal word wait during the first eons long advent? God's promised advent never feels here, yet always is happening.
We spend most of our days in patient restlessness because the total fulfillment of that promise isn't yet. Slow fashion—better quality than fast? Slow food—more flavor than fast? Slow advent—better results than fast? Snail mail—better communication than a text? No worries, because no thing ever really is instant.
Two Sundays ago we started to wait for Jesus' arrival again as the church began a new year of grace. Emmanuel—God with us.
The one who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon."
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!