I can’t wait for Christmas…for all the normal reasons, of course, but in a pastor’s family Christmas means a sigh of relief (I grew up this way with my dad as a pastor and I still live this way) – multiple worship services and sermons all scrunched together…and finally done. But the Sundays keep on coming…
I can’t wait to see all my children and grandchildren. That doesn’t happen until after Christmas, and often involves some significant travel. But I look forward to this with great anticipation.
I can’t wait for Spring. No offense to ice fisherpeople and snowmobilers, but I prefer my lakes unfrozen. I’ll wait...
Do you have a list too? Of things for which you can’t wait? Things you’re looking forward to with great anticipation?
One more thing I would mention, but it really covers a lot of territory – I can’t wait for Advent future. Christ’s first Advent has come and gone and our seasonal celebration of that is about to hit its peak. The bill for the celebration will arrive in January credit card statements. Now we’re living in Advent present – Jesus is with us, leading us, guiding us, holding us in his powerful arms.
All that’s left is Advent future. But Advent future is everything. If you have ever said, I can’t wait until there are no more tears or death or mourning or crying or pain, Advent future is what you’re waiting for. Christ’s return on the last day, ushering in the blessed eternity of heaven, of life forever face to face with Jesus, with all who believe in his saving name.
But it seems like such a long wait. In the meantime you and I face an endless array of threats and enemies: economic uncertainty, war abroad, crime, health concerns, a sin-drenched culture, an aggressive win-at-all-costs adversary in Satan, even our own traitorous sinful nature.
And because the wait is so long, we long for Advent future, for Christ to keep his promise when he said in his final words to us on the last page of his book – Yes, I am coming soon.
We can’t wait for the stress and strain of life to be gone, for the sting of failure and the pain of hurt and rejection. We can’t wait for there to be a cure for cancer, we can’t wait for the day when we will no longer have to stand at a hospital bedside and then at a gravesite and say goodbye to loved ones. Come to think of it, I’d rather not have to go through death myself. No more of this. Please, Lord. How long will we have to wait? I don’t want to wait. I can’t wait. Come Lord Jesus. Now.
Revelation 22 offers a peek at Advent future. How does it all end up? Victory – victory for you, me, thanks to Christ. Listen to the voice of the One who stands alone at the end of history, “Behold, I am coming soon. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (vv. 12,13)
This is God himself, our Savior. No one else can claim to be first and last, eternal, all-powerful. No one else cares for us like he does – He who gave himself in our place, took the punishment for our sins upon himself, then burst out of the grave on Easter morning, leaving it empty. He now sits at the Father’s right hand ruling over all things even as he rules as King in my heart and life. And he promises – I am coming soon.
The thing about waiting is that eventually, things come to pass. You can’t wait to get your driver’s license (you get it), can’t wait to graduate from high school (do it), maybe college, can’t wait to get married, can’t wait to have kids, can’t wait ‘til the kids are out of the house, can’t wait for retirement. Time moves on, things come to pass.
Spring always follows winter. After winter, spring. After death, life. After separation, reunion. After sorrow, endless joy and victory.
I can’t wait. But for now, Jesus says it’s best for us to do so. So I will wait. We will wait. Advent past has come and gone. Advent future is on the way. And we will wait with joy, anticipation, confidence.
Waiting with you in Christ,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand