Wreath

Waiting Is The Last Thing I Want To Do

“The grandkids are waiting for Christmas in Edmonton like a raging bull,” Ed told me yesterday. His family there is not able to come to Melville for Christmas. Ed and Ruby can’t go to be with them. His grandkids are checking the mail for presents from grandpa and gramma in Saskatchewan. Ed has told them they could open them when they arrive. They do not have to wait for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to open them.

I hope it all works out for Ed’s family in Edmonton and that the presents arrive before Christmas. Like Ed’s grandkids, I’m not good at waiting. I am no raging bull but being forced to wait makes me feel that what I’m waiting for will never happen. The Advent season calls us to wait for the return of Christ with hope, peace, joy, and love. When Jesus was born at Bethlehem, the hope, peace, joy, and love of God were given in fulfillment of God’s promise of His coming Messiah or Savior. Galatians 4:4 states, “But when the fullness of time had come. God sent forth his Son born of woman, born under the law.”

The first Christmas proves that no matter how long it takes when it comes to God’s promises, it’s always worth the wait. Waiting forces us to give up our comfort of being in control and allows God to work the fulness of His time. Before the Covid 19 pandemic, we often were focused on waiting; for what was not a matter of life and death. Many felt there are only two times of the year, hockey season and waiting for it. The pandemic means waiting for a vaccine to prevent sickness and death. As I write this, lifesaving vaccines are being developed and approved. It means hope for all people. We pray hope, peace, joy, and love will grow to replace pandemic strife.

Hope, peace, joy, and love are often the candles’ names on the Advent Wreath. The wreath represents eternity without beginning and end. Our God is without beginning or end and promises that those who believe or have faith in His Son Jesus Christ will be taken to heaven when Jesus returns to judge the living and the dead. Many seek all the hope, peace, joy, and love they can get here on earth and ignore any thought of God, heaven, or hell.

It isn’t that there isn’t hope, peace, joy, and love on earth, but they are balanced or matched with despair, hate, death, and grief. Many doubt and scoff at God and the hope, peace, joy, and love He freely offers in Christ. The question before us is always who we will trust ourselves or God. Who will you trust most and depend on most?

The scoffing about the promised coming of Jesus is always great. Thank goodness God is good at waiting. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. The day of the Lord will come like a thief.” Let us look forward to heaven with trust in Jesus before He returns from heaven and it is too late. 2 Peter 3:9-10

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Raymond Maher
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