Good morning:

What’s your biggest pet peeve? For many of us it might be “waiting.” Who wants to wait? Who has the time for it? If the webpage doesn’t pop up onscreen in two seconds or less, forget it. A two-day wait for an Amazon package can be torture. Wait for a red light? Only because it’s the law. Wait for Christmas to open presents? If only we could skip right to the moment! Do you see any value at all in waiting?

God does. After promising Adam and Eve that the Seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head, God granted our first parents a son. In gratitude, Eve said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man” (Gen. 4:1). More literally, according to the original Hebrew, she said, “I have brought forth a man, the LORD.” It sounds like she was hoping there would be no waiting, that the Savior would arrive immediately to undo the curse of sin.

Yet God had mankind wait 4,000 years before the “fullness of the time.” Why? What good did it serve? For one thing, it gave millions of people time to hear God’s call to repent and prepare their hearts for Jesus’ arrival. God wanted hearts to sorrow over sin and to look with longing to the One who would shoulder the burden of guilt for all people. He wanted to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Lk. 1:17).

Today we are still waiting, not for Jesus’ first coming, but for His return in glory to take us home with Him. It’s been 2,000 years since the victory over sin and death was won on the cross. Why the long wait? “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise….He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

With each new day the Lord is giving us more time to get ready for Jesus through sorrow for our many sins and trust in Jesus as the all-sufficient payment for our debt and our righteousness before the holy God. Rather than get restless with the wait, let’s make the most of it by treasuring time with the Lord and His Word and eagerly sharing it with others. ‘Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming….You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near” (James 5:7-8).

Tomorrow’s sermon text (Mal. 3:1-4) is God’s call to prepare for the awesome appearing of the One who is like a refiner’s fire and a launderer’s cleansing soap.

In Christ,

Services are at 8:00 and 10:45 a.m.
The first Christmas Eve rehearsal is at 9:30 a.m. for all the children.
Bible class begins at 9:45 a.m. in the multi-purpose room. Thought-starter: What is your favorite Christmas carol? Why?
The public school confirmation class will meet at 12:15 p.m.
The School Support Group meets at 6 p.m.

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