Are you waiting for something or for nothing? If for nothing, than it seems you should be pitied. But, we don’t know whether it is for nothing or for something until the waiting is over. Is this faith? Simeon, waited for the consolation of Israel, knowing that he would see it before death– but not knowing what it would be exactly. Abraham waited, the author of Hebrews tells us, and never received the promise, here. I consider Mary–her pregnancy, the incarnation of the hundreds of years of Israel’s waiting. Nine [more] months of waiting, for what? What did Mary think she was waiting for? The exaltation of the humble, she cries, the filling of the hungry and the scattering of the proud. The mother of God waits to feel the pangs of birth, the contractions which bring forth the savior of mankind, but bring him forth to death. Then to life triumphant over death. Then, to more waiting. She waited for something, and she also waited for more waiting.
I see her now (has she learned to be patient?), awaiting the second birth, the second advent, the one to be ushered in with fire and the sword. After a life of waiting and watching, she still watches and awaits.
what is your part–
oh woman king–
to watch, to wait,
to hold, to bear
No sword for your
for your heart.
This too, is the lot of the Church. As in the parable of the virgins, we trim our lamps and await the [second]coming of the bridegroom. We wait upon the second consolation, the final consolation.
Isaiah remarks that the Lord waits as well, “that he may be gracious unto you.” Of course, our waiting is different. We wait in order to receive.
The Lord waits, to act.
“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.”
And so the carol:
O come, o come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel. That mourns in lonely exile here, until the son of God appear.
R. Card Hyatt