Dear Family of St John’s

Advent is a time where we are aware of waiting. If you follow the tradition of an Advent Calendar, you wait eagerly to open the little box or window each day to see what treat there is in the countdown to Christmas. Although I don’t have any young children in my house anymore, I have bought myself an Advent Calendar. It’s a story calendar! Each day has a mini book to read – I love it.

And, don’t forget about the children waiting for Christmas morning to see what presents they received. Perhaps their parents are waiting for the children to calm down and go to bed, so they can relax.

But, the waiting is actually focussed on Jesus’ second coming. In my sermon last week, I spoke about waiting actively, that we have work to do in this waiting.

Well, I came across this article a few weeks ago, written by Johan Terblanche of Christ Alone Ministries. It’s intended as a children’s message. But, I thought I’d share it – I always learn something from the children’s messages!

He writes, “At work, we have a printer-copier-scanner. Every time I want to print, a message that reads, “Now preparing, please wait” pops up on the touch screen. In all honesty, I often find this frustrating, simply because I do not like waiting. Then, when it starts printing, frustration often turns to joy as it spits out the printed document one page at a time.

While thinking on this, I was reminded of David Ring, who testified on a DVD by the Gaither. David has difficulty speaking because of cerebral palsy. On the DVD, he tells the audience to have patience with Him, for God is still working on Him. He continues to say that He is like a bread being baked by God and then comments, “Be patient, for the bread is still in the oven.”

As believers, we often find ourselves in a hurry. We want everything now.
However, there are times that God says, “I’m busy preparing you, please wait.” There are times that God says, “Please wait, I’m still working on you” and there are even times when God asks of us to endure the heat just a little bit longer for we are still in God’s oven.

I have in life prayed for patience, expecting God to give it immediately. I have prayed to be able to share God’s Word, when I did not even know what was written in the Bible. I even prayed for a vehicle, when I could not drive. As can be seen, I have often expected things from God, when I was not yet ready to receive it.

Many of you may be waiting on the Lord, expecting Him to provide in your needs today. Many of you may be asking why the Lord is not pouring out His blessings upon you yet. Many may think that God is delaying coming to your rescue or helping you.

Like our printer at work, I believe the Lord often says, “Now preparing, please wait!”

Let us be reminded that the LORD is good unto them that wait for him. (See Lamentations 3:25) Let us be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him, (Psalm 37:7) and then we too will see Him turning to us, hearing our cries and lifting us out of the deep dark pit we may find ourselves within. (Psalm 40:1-2)”

This lends a different aspect to waiting, in the light of Advent. Our waiting is also about what God is doing in our lives, how He is preparing us. Have you looked to see where He is working in your life recently? What areas are you being challenged in? Where are you waiting for change?

Perhaps this is a time to pray for God to reveal how He is preparing you for work that He wants you to do.

With love
Your friend and rector,