This Sunday, we are waiting. It’s the third Sunday of Advent and we are waiting both for Christmas and for the second coming of Christ. Both for a day of rejoicing with gifts and family or friends, and a time when the brokenness, suffering, poverty and injustice of this world is replaced with the joy, healing and reconciliation of God’s full redemption of the earth. And they both seem to be coming both too quickly for the work to be done in time, and too slowly.
In our epistle we read: “Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.” James 5:7-8 And in our Gospel reading we have John the Baptist in prison sending emissaries to Jesus in a fit of impatience : "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" Matthew 11:3. Sometimes our expectations blind us to what God is really doing in our midst, and we need to practice the discomfort of patience while persevering in the work that is set before us.