by David R. Brock
“SO, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?”
Have you heard the question before? Have you asked it yourself? It’s often uttered with a bit of sarcasm. At least with a note of urgency; maybe even exasperation:
Get with it! Go! Don’t procrastinate!
Strike while the iron is hot! Get it done!
The early bird . . . .
Well, you know!
To add urgency and exasperation to the question, it was not uncommon in my growing up years to hear it said like this:
So, what are you waiting for . . . CHRISTMAS?!
Well, yes, exactly. I’m waiting for Christmas!
Mary’s waiting . . . waiting with expectant mothers everywhere (uncomfortably? Impatiently?) for this child to finally be fully formed and born! She and they are wondering:
What, child, are you waiting for?!
Joseph’s waiting . . . waiting for this child to be born, as the biblical account tells us, before he and Mary must trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census. It won’t be easy with a newborn, but its sure going to complicate matters if she is still awaiting the birth which might happen anywhere along the arduous route:
What, little one, are you waiting for?!
You and I are waiting . . . waiting for the promised coming again of the Savior who will once and for all break down the dividing walls, establish the reign of God, and be crowned “Prince of Peace” in a place called “Shalom”:
What, Jesus, are you waiting for?!
And God hears the edge of impatience in the waiting. God knows the longing and expectancy that accompany the long wait. And, God, smiles as God guards in God’s own heart the thought: “You have no idea how long I have waited for you. You have no sense of the depth of my own longing and expectancy for you to come home to me. How often I would have gathered you, but you would not. I invite you to peace and joy and hope and love, every day, EVERY CHRISTMAS!”
What, my children, are you waiting for?!
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.
Spiritual Practice: Pay attention to your longings. What are you waiting for? Dwell deeply in God’s longing for you.