FOR TUESDAY, ADVENT III
“What kinds of obstacles has waiting created for you?" by the Rev. John George, Church of the Good Shepherd, Mobile
Waiting is something we encounter each and every day. One of the clichés we often hear or say is, “hurry up and wait.” Waiting can be seen as an obstacle or an opportunity. A stumbling block or the means to a way forward we need to figure out. Obstacles also remind us of challenges. What should we be doing when there seems no way forward? How can we look at this differently that opens doors to possibilities? Like the man in the gospel who has been stuck there, disabled all those years. No one offered to help him. He hung around never giving up even though it had been a very long time. We don’t know if he was a praying person. Maybe he was because something happened on that sabbath. God showed up and asked the important question. “Do you want to be made well?” Here was his opportunity for his circumstance to be transformed. His answer doesn’t help. Yet Jesus decides to do something about his situation. After 38 years, a miracle happens and his life was transformed.
This is an example for us of opportunity presenting itself to what seemed an insurmountable obstacle. When God is for you, as Jesus was in this instance, then it doesn’t matter who is against you. He doesn’t touch him, just says the words. Accepting the words of Jesus. He feels the transformation in his bones. His trust and belief also helped in his healing. I believe our faith can help transform obstacles into opportunities. It may not be as dramatic as in this instance, but God has a way of interceding and bringing blessings out of what might seem like a curse. God can do everything but fail. I believe Lord, help my unbelief. In this Advent Season, this Third Week, we have a reason for Joy! God is not finished with us yet. We have another opportunity to overcome what might seem like obstacles in our path. Because God is with us, in us, we can get through all things through him who strengthens us. Especially challenging obstacles through his amazing grace.
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.