Galatians 4:4-7: But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of the family of God.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard these words while you’re on the telephone:
“Your call is important to us, so please stay on the line. All our representatives are busy assisting other customers. Your call will be answered in the order in which it was received. Your approximate wait time is over ten minutes.”
I know what when I hear this message, I want to hang up. I had the opportunity this past week to hear it several times when I called the phone company to try to find out why my father couldn’t call out on his phone. Eventually I did have the problem resolved, but not without a lot of wait time.
I think it’s safe to say that most of us don’t like waiting. Our culture has made it easier not to have to wait. We can download books more or less instantaneously, order almost anything on line and have it delivered the next day, use a drive up for faster service at restaurants and banks. Traffic lights drive us crazy because there are so many of them around here and they take so long to cycle. We hate to wait.
And yet, there is a virtue in waiting and in patience. When people have to stand in long lines for a good cause many of them say they don’t mind doing so because they were waiting for something important and they got to make some new friends during their time in the line. We might await the birth of a baby or a special birthday or anniversary. This kind of waiting builds excitement and makes the actual event more exciting.
Imagine the ancient Jews who lived for centuries with the prophecy of a Messiah. Think of those whose lives passed before his coming. It must have been somewhat bitter for them to realize that they would not see the Lord in this lifetime.
And yet we know that God’s promise of a Messiah was fulfilled, and the waiting was over. Our waiting is done. Every year we reenact the waiting of the Jews during Advent, but we know that he did come and did die for our salvation. We are a people on this side of Christmas and this side of Easter. And so, let us rejoice! Christ has come and God is with us!