Summary: A sermon which begins with a number of scriptures on waiting - encourages listeners to learn HOW to wait on God.
Psalms 27:13-14 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Psalms 37:34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
Micah 7:7 But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
Last week we discussed the importance of preparation.
This morning I would like to look at the most important part of preparation.
No it isn’t something you do it is something that you don’t do
It is not doing all the busy stuff it is not doing it recognising that it is in fact a distraction.
Waiting for God.
So when you do something you do it out of your relationship with him
When you think of it the coming of Jesus was the arrival of God to a waiting world.
Not long before his death, Henri Nouwen wrote a book called Sabbatical Journeys, in which he wrote about some friends of his who were trapeze artists, called the Flying Roudellas. They told Nouwen that there is a special relationship between the flyer and the catcher on the trapeze. This relationship is governed by important rules, such as “The flyer is the one who lets go, and the catcher is the one who catches.” As the flyer swings on the trapeze high above the crowd, the moment comes when he must let go. He flings his body out in mid-air. His job is to keep flying and wait for the strong hands of the catcher to take hold of him at just the right moment. One of the Flying Roudellas told Nouwen, “The flyer must never try to catch the catcher.” The flyer’s job is to wait in absolute trust. The catcher will catch him, but he must wait.
Nouwen said, “Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about him for whom we are waiting.” Waiting is not a static state, it is a time when God is working behind the scenes, and the primary focus of his work is on us. I love Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of Romans 8:24: “Waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting” (The Message). God is creating his life within us, and we must wait for it to come to full term.
In the time about the birth of Jesus there was a lot of waiting going on.
Mary was waiting as only a pregnant woman can wait. But when you think of it Mary had been waiting on God all her life in order to fulfil her God given destiny.
But in order for Mary to fulfil her God given destiny history had been waiting for a long long time we find that in Isaiah chapter 9 Unto us a child is born – waiting 800 years.
Mary’s destiny tied up with God in a timeless wait until she finds history’s moment.
Since the time of Elijah – history’s clock had been ticking for 800 years.
Mary was betrothed to Joseph and she waited on him and she waited on God and when the angel appeared she waited on God again – and she did exactly what God asked and that is what Jesus did and it seems to me in this modern confusing age we too need to learn to wait on God.
Jesus in Matthew chapter 28 says to his disciples – Go go into all the world and make disciples – can you imagine the most eager of them charging off to do the will of God.
But in Acts chapter 1 verse 4 we read New International Version
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.