Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I Will Send My Beloved Son: Advent 2013, Day 10

"What stands out as singular, surprising, and quite simply inconceivable is the attitude of the owner of the vineyard: 'What shall I do?' he asks himself; and, for some mysterious reason, knowing the fate his servants received at the hands of the wicked tenants, he nevertheless decides: 'I will send my beloved son.' " (Antoine Birot, "The Divine Drama from the Father's Perspective")

“It is not enough then for the word to come down from heaven; it must also be born from the flesh. Hence it cannot be uttered all at once; it cannot dispense with the lapse of time required by the entire life of Jesus." (José Granados, "The Word Springs From the Flesh)
Knowing what we'd do to Him, God's Son still said yes to His Father and consented to come among us, as one of us.

God could have sent Christ in the way the Jews imagined the Messiah would come -- in the way we imagine he will come again: as a fully grown man riding a cloud to the sound of trumpets and heavenly choruses. But he didn't. No; the coming of Jesus the first time took time, beginning with nine months in Mary's womb, and then thirty years of childhood and young adulthood, most of which we know nothing about (just like most of us can't remember much of the detailed minutia of our own lives).

It seems that the promised Second Coming also "cannot dispense with the lapse of time." It has been nearly two thousand years, and though predictions have been and still are common, here we are, still waiting.

The Scriptures are filled with waiting, and mostly they don't tell us why, but they do tell us how -- whether how we actually wait,
"Then they believed his promises and sang his praise. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold. In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wilderness they put God to the test." (Psalm 106:12-14)
or how we should wait,
"You must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always." (Hosea 12:6)

"If we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." (Romans 8:25)

"Judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes." (1 Corinthians 4:5)

"By building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life." (Jude 1:20-21)
But all our individual and communal waiting is as nothing compared to how (and how long) God waits for us.

Amen.

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