Longing and Waiting—Thoughts for Advent
December 2006 Nanchong, Sichuan People’s Republic of China
I’m waiting for a Christmas package from my mother. Every Monday (and sometimes other days) I bother the Foreign Affairs Office to see if my package has come yet. “No mail today,” they say.
I’m longing for Prince Charming to come riding up on his white steed and carry me away. At this point in my life, I would settle for a good friend in a taxi. I ask God often, “when will he come?”
I’m longing for my Chinese classes to be over so I can get on a plane to Thailand. I’m longing for time on the beach and getting away from the cold of Nanchong. I hate waiting. I want it Now! The anticipation is killing me, and the unknown is painful.
The Jews waited, longed for the Messiah. They asked often “when will he come, what will he look like? Will he be a King or a Conqueror?” No one expected that the Prince of Peace would come as a tiny baby.
Jesus, come to our hearts as the Prince of Peace. Still our fears, but cause us to long for You. Let us find our rest in You.
Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art:
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver, born a child, and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit raise us to thy glorious throne.
Daily Reading: Mark 13:33-37
33 Beware, keep alert;[a] for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35 Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’