This is one from a while back, when we were exploring the concept of waiting for God in the form of Jesus. The video was played as part of our contemplation/prayer time.
We wait a lot in this busy world. Yet we wait less today than before. We travel at high speed to arrive at a distant destination – think of travelling on a boat to far off lands compared with the time it would take on an aeroplane, even with waiting to go through Customs. What about letters which took days, even weeks to arrive, and which are now completed in seconds on the computer. Meals which used to take hours to cook are now done in minutes in microwave ovens.
Advent is the time of waiting and we are in Advent now which is the four Sundays before Christmas.
In the Old Testament people started to wait for their Messiah, their Saviour, from as early as Genesis 49:10. Jacob blessed his son Judah with these words “the sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations be his.” From then until the birth of Christ was a long time – a very long time. I mean a very very long time – let’s say about 1,800 years according to some theologians – to wait for Jesus.
During Jesus’ ministry he tells his disciples that he will go but will return. In Matthew 24:3 “the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us’ they said ‘when will this happen and what will be the sign of your coming?’” So since then 2000 or so years ago we have been waiting once again a long time. A very long time. I mean a very very long time for his return.
So we are going to have to wait until the time, only God knows when, when Jesus will return.
So my question is WHAT are we going to do to fill in this time until Jesus comes again. OR let me throw this out – has Jesus already returned?
God is in all of us. God is in ALL of us. So He is here, in me, in you. And when we treat another human being with love, we are showing our love to God.
In Matthew 25: 34-40 Jesus talks about those who need help with the very basics of life: food and water, shelter and clothes, and company.
There are people needing our help with these things right now in the world: overseas, in New Zealand, in Canterbury and here in Governors Bay– even in our church.
Okay so this a very large problem with so many needing these basic necessities – what are we do about it? Why can’t God just fix it? I think there are many solutions but God needs us to help. And God will use us, if we are willing, to do different things. It may be donations to organisations that help people in need overseas, it may be taking our surplus blankets and food to local organisations, it may be spending time with someone who feels they live in a prison and so on. What he might ask me to do may not be what he asks you to do. We need to ask God what we can do to help – and then we need to listen.
What is important to God, and should be important to us is that we love him and love each other.
Let me tell you what happened to me this week. I had finished writing what you have just heard and I thought about putting those words into action. So I gathered up some things I knew would be needed and took them to the City Mission. When I pulled up in my car with my 3 year old son with me, I saw some heavily tattooed, untidy men hanging around outside. So I got Luke out, locked the car, held my handbag tightly close to my body, made no eye contact and quickly went inside to finish what I had set out to do. As we came out, Luke stopped to watch a crane working on the other side of the road. One of the men spoke “Do you like cranes?” Luke turned, looked him in the eyes and beamed “Oh yes, Cranky the Crane is my favourite.” Another man spoke “You must like Thomas the Tank Engine then.”
“I like Thomas, and I like Percy too – he’s the green one.”
And then we stood silent for a few more moments as we all watched the crane and I quietly cried. Although I took material goods, it was my 3 year old boy who showed them acceptance and love.
By helping someone else, in the way God has asked you, by showing a practical love to someone else, you are showing them God’s love as well.
So while we wait for however long it will be, let us fill in our time by doing to each other what we would do if God were one of us.