“But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings…” A curtain closes and a 400-year wait begins. 1
And the Psalmisťs words resonate. “We see not our signs; there is no more any prophet; neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.”2
But the propheťs words seemed to carry with them a certain imminence. Are hope and despair endpoints on a common scale that tips with time?
“I’m homesick—longing for your salvation; I’m waiting for your word of hope. My eyes grow heavy watching for some sign of your promise…”3
Little darling, iťs been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since iťs been here
Here comes the sun 4
Waiting as part of community seems more heartening and anticipatory than waiting in solitude, where it can take on a certain dreadfulness.
“To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness.”5
Malachi 4:2 1
Psalm 74:9 2
Psalm 119:81-82 3
Here Comes The Sun. The Beatles. 4
Flannery O’Connor 5
“All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs.”6
“The experience of each new age requires a new confession, and the world seems always waiting for its poet.”7
What was that about being “despised and rejected”? Isn’t that incongruous with the image of the promised redeemer?
Who can pretend to empathize with the nine-month waiting of a pregnant and unmarried, teenage virgin?
Wonder like a child whose expectancy is untainted by the disappointments and broken promises of yesterday.
Did those who were waiting ever picture dirt floors, straw and the smell of animals?
The stuff of expectancy: name choice, nursery colors, and shower registry somehow seem superfluous.
Anticipation can be so sweet when you’ve heard the angel say, “Fear not!”
“These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance.”8
Fresh bread and rich wine prove the sensory power in anticipation.
Romans 8:22a The Message 6
Ralph Waldo Emerson 7
Romans 8:23 The Message 8
Now bread and wine remind us as we wait again.
The poetry of longing: yearning, ache, burning, hunger, thirst
Iťs already settled. His name will be Jesus.
Remind us again what the angel promised.
Anticipation’s counterpoint is often-times anxiety.
“Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.”9
“a Man of Sorrows”10
Prince of Peace
a hymn by Charles Wesley 9
Isaiah 53:3 10
1 Malachi 4:2
2 Psalm 74:9 2
3 Psalm 119:81-82 3
4 Here Comes The Sun. The Beatles.
5 Flannery O’Connor
6 Romans 8:22a The Message
7 Ralph Waldo Emerson
8 Romans 8:23 The Message
9 a hymn by Charles Wesley
10 Isaiah 53:3