Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Epistle for this week, from James 5:7-11, reminds us that we can wait for the Lord’s coming. The farmer waits for crops to grow. The prophets spoke of the coming Christ and never saw him. There is a certain steadfast way of living the Christian life. It understands that there are hardships along the way. It grasps the idea of waiting. Yet that waiting is not desolate.
The farmer waiting for the crops to grow knows what is planted and has a reasonable expectation of a harvest. The prophet who speaks of the coming Christ knows that Christ will come for him as well. The Christian knows that Jesus has promised to come back for his own children.
In this time of Advent I think we can learn a good deal by occupying ourselves with waiting. We wait actively. We sing the songs of the season, looking forward to Christ’s coming. We read the readings which are full of hope and promise. And we wait. As we are waiting, we might decorate a bit, we might be preparing presents for our family and friends. We might even be making my favorite, a fruitcake, which needs to age for a while before eating. We prepare ourselves in the sure hope of Christ’s coming. And then, at the end of Advent, we are well prepared to celebrate Christmas - not just a day, but a twelve day festival. Yet, for now, we wait in hope.
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