Am I working, or just waiting?
First Sunday in Advent, 2005
Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
“The day is at hand!”
For nearly two thousand years, Christians have been reminding each other that humanity’s long night of darkness and sleep is about to end and a new day of salvation with the Lord will soon begin. When I was twenty, I was quite certain I’d never live to see fifty. It wasn’t so much that I had a particular concern for my own longevity; I just couldn’t imagine how the human race could possibly survive into the Twenty First Century.
To my youthful eyes, it seemed impossible that our species could continue along its path of nuclear proliferation, pollution, energy depletion and overpopulation without triggering a planetary catastrophe. I personally had had enough of our collective “drunkenness, debauchery and jealousy” and I wanted the Lord to return before my eyes. Now that I’m well into middle age, I notice that the “quarrelling and reveling” continues unabated and the licentiousness is worse than ever. The Lord’s return is still in the future, and my regret is that I didn’t spend less effort thinking about his arrival and more preparing for it.
God will not fail us – the question is whether we will fail God.
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me time to prepare a place in my heart for your Son and for allowing me to join with others in making a place for him in the world. I ask your forgiveness for the times I’ve failed you in the past and pray for your encouragement to please you in the time that remains.