waiting on & waging peace this Advent
And I suck at waiting.
In Advent, I am called to remember that waiting is not a meaningless void or a waste of time. Maybe you need this reminder too.
There is hope in the waiting.
Hope that is not reliant on how we feel but on His truth, His promises, and His character.
There is longing in the waiting.
There is strength forged in the waiting that will point us to the source of the good and not so easily allow us to claim credit as the source.
There is lament in the waiting.
We mourn the ways in which pain and brokenness in ourselves and the world obscure our view for a time.
There is expectation in the waiting.
Though it can sometimes feels as though He tarries what is promised is breaking through.
We see glimpses now.
We I searched for synonyms of tarry I saw the word dwell.
To dwell feels like more purposeful to me. I am choosing to dwell on what God has done and what He promises this Advent, to be watchful in my waiting.
"remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God!" Is 47
That which is out of focus will become clear. It is promised so we wait. We practice this discipline of watchful waiting (which I have to remind myself is very different than merely tolerating or passing the time). I am not good at waiting. I tend to wards making things happen, and most always towards impatience.
We are in waiting for many things right now for us and for dear ones. We long for relationships that could be built or restored. We long for a precious baby to healed. We wait for a long road of systemic brokenness to come to an end. We wait for forgiveness for ourselves and others. We long for comfort for those that have lost so much. We wait and hope that decades of addictions can be healed. We desire justice. We long for both self doubt AND arrogant pride to be answered with a firm knowledge that we, and every person we encounter is created in His image.
We long for things we cannot yet fully imagine or see. But the Spirit is present and gives us glimpses. There are mysterious ways we see God working yet I cannot define it. But I can choose to lean in and hope and wait.
So this Advent season I am seeking purposeful waiting, I am asking "What does it mean to be wise but still have reckless hope?" The kind of self emptying, reckless Hope that is not tied to outcome but based on the One in whom we have Faith.
I am always struck during Advent this is a season we proclaim BOTH already and not yet.
Holy waiting knowing peace is coming AND has come. What does it look like ot live everyday in light of the already AND not yet?
"This good news brings a radical, transformative change to the way we live every day, and to the way we view and respond to everything happening in the world."
How can I respond today that proclaims I trust in this season of waiting? That I do not despise the seasons of in-between-ness because there there is growth and life and peace. He is worthy of waiting for and He is already here with us-
God is actively pursuing us. You. Me. Us. God is making and waging peace through Jesus.
A King who conquers by suffering and appearing weak to his enemies. By loving them though they mock and ultimately slay Him. This is our example of what waging peace means. This causes me to do hard work of identifying where threads of indifference, pride, hate, and violence exists in me, where I love people based on false assumptions, where I want to control outcomes, where I hold onto self preservation when I am invited to lose my life to truly find it.
I cannot live as a peacemaker without laying down my arms. I cannot keep them in my back pocket *just in case* sh@t goes down.
In choosing to disarm; my self preservation, my perception of control, my privilege, and all the other yucky that has yet to be revealed to me I am choosing to wait and trust and acknowledge that His plan is better.
In my waiting God is showing me His strength, His humility, His love.
He is active, not passive. Our waiting is active. We shall long and wait and work for peace in this world because we have glimpses in scripture of what is promised. The world will be flipped upside down. The last will be first. Those that hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied. Those in bondage will be set free and have their chains removed. The hungry will be fed. Those who are other-ed will be brought close and shown their true dignity. Those who are crushed by injustice will be restored and the oppressors will be brought low. In His grace He is here AND He is coming.
But God is my King from long ago; he brings salvation on the earth. Psalm 74.
Yes, God is making peace through Jesus both now & to come. I am both waiting AND asking where I can engage in his peacemaking today because this kingdom has come & will come.