The Waiting Room
Usually I reserve a theme of ‘waiting’ to the Advent season, just before Christmas. Somehow, though, this seems an apt moment to renew this theme, at the mid-point in the year.
We have waited a long time, it seems, to celebrate something good as a nation. The most recent period of our Queen’s reign has been beset with Brexit, Covid, Ukraine and fuel problems. Each of them are ongoing, and we have our own local and personal crises, disappointments and delays. As though to scorn us, some things are so easy and instant, eg. electronic communications and same day deliveries.
So, is there any merit whatever in being forced to wait? If the thing is a guaranteed promise, then surely, yes. The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a fixed period of celebration. Wherever we are in the world, we hope to celebrate 70 years of her glorious reign. In Frenchay we look forward especially to events on the Common on Saturday 4th June.
In the Bible, we are shown that waiting is part of repentance (turning to God in sorrow for our wrongdoing). The Day of the Lord is a day in the future when God will judge the world, and every human soul that has ever lived will be called to account for their actions. In the Old and New Testaments it is heralded as a day when God will come down to judge the earth, a great and terrible day. But Jesus came to turn fear and mourning into joy and thanksgiving. For the person who puts their trust in him, He promises to stand in their place when their wrongs are laid bare on that day. Christ is the one who comes to offer salvation in this life and stand as the judge of all humanity on that day. For some this will be a day of jubilee (release), and for others a day of eternal punishment.
So, these verses from 2 Peter chapter 3 sum up for me this time of waiting in which we live.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”
Rev Charles Sugden.