FOR MONDAY, ADVENT III
“What causes you to wait?" by Jacob Head, member of St. Christopher's, Pensacola
We spend much of our time in life waiting. Waiting in the drive-thru. Waiting on hold. Waiting for that important phone call or email. We, humans, spend approximately six months of our lives just waiting in line!
At times, however, our wait may be self-imposed. Uncertainty or lack of understanding can press the pause button on things we just aren’t too sure about. There can be wisdom in this type of waiting. Other times our own fear and anxiety can cause us to stop in our tracks and wait for the perceived danger to pass. And, in other moments maybe our lack of trust can cause us to pull back and wait. To cause us to miss out on something great. Or, in other moments of knowing in our ”knower,” we are hopeful in our waiting for the grace to move forward.
In recent months I’ve been challenged to ask myself why I wait. What fear keeps me from stepping into everything Christ has called me to do and be? Why do I pull back rather than go forward?
In reading John 5: 1-15, I couldn’t help but ponder the internal gymnastics our friend must have done to stay encouraged. To hold on to the hope that one day his miracle would come. For the 38 years…he waited and waited.
I can’t help but ask myself, would I have waited? Or would I have given up, gone home and, out of disappointment, left my faith?
In his waiting one more day, everything changed for our friend by the pool of Beth-zatha. One more day of waiting and he encountered grace upon grace. Just one more day. In our instant gratification culture would we have been that trusting, that steadfast in our faith. . .to wait? To just wait in hope that a divine moment will happen.
I’m reminded of the passage in Isaiah 40:31 “…but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…” A promise that if we wait just a little bit more…
Reading for this week: John 5: 1-15
After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew[a] Beth-zatha,[b] which has five porticoes. 3 In these lay many ill, blind, lame, and paralyzed people.[c] 5 One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7 The ill man answered him, “Sir,[d] I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am making my way someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.
Now that day was a Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in[e] the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Collect for this week:
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
Join us this Advent as we explore what it’s like to wait! We are offering a collection of daily questions and reflections inviting us to consider what we experience and learn in our waiting, and how we find God - and God finds us - in our waiting.
Each Sunday a brief video will be shared on Facebook and Instagram to introduce us to a focus and reflection for the week. Each day a question will be posted for us to ponder. You are invited to share your own reflections by replying to these posts or reposting on your personal social media. Please follow and use #diocgcwaits. Be sure to follow our diocesan social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram; search: DioCGC.