Maybe you’ve heard the news, perhaps you even watched 60 Minutes’ Amazon Infomercial last Sunday night, soon (as in less than a decade) drones may be delivering Amazon packages to your doorstep…hopefully your packages, within 30 minutes of your order. I guess it’s Amazon’s goal to become the Domino’s delivery of the everything-other-than-pizza world, because being an Amazon Prime member with two-day shipping on more stuff than I can fit in my house, wasn’t good enough.
There’s no doubt that Jeff Bezos knows that the one and only thing the American public does not want…is waiting.
And yet here we are in the midst of the Advent Season…a season where Christians around the world celebrate waiting, or at least honor the concept of waiting. It’s a season where we could be reminded that if time is our most valuable commodity, then something we can get in 30 minutes may not be worth getting. Have you noticed lately that one of the difficulties in getting someone a Christmas present is the shrinking amount of time between someone expressing a desire for something and when they just go ahead and get it? Why wait for Christmas? I’m an Amazon Prime member.
Advent reminds us that waiting for something of great value is worth our time. But — here is the epiphany in the story — Advent also reminds us that there are some things of great value for which we no longer need to wait. For example:
1 – Christ has come. We are on the other side of what Paul calls “the mystery of the gospel.” On the far side of Christ, they waited for the Messiah. On our side, He has come. He has broken down the walls which kept us from God and each other. He has shown us the way and opened the door to life. You no longer need to wait; he’s here. Now, if anything, He waits for you.
2 – The Holy Spirit has come. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he told his followers to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit, to wait for the power to become disciples to could turn the world upside down. We don’t have to wait for this promise. He is now available.
3 – The Kingdom of God has come. This was the Christmas message and Jesus’ message. The Kingdom of God is here. It has arrived. It is in your midst. The Kingdom is not a place, it’s a person. It’s not a realm, it’s a reign. You can’t find it on a map, it’s found everywhere people surrender to and live for the King.
Now do not hear what I’m not saying. Even though the waiting is over, the Kingdom of God is not all that big on instant, easy gratification. There is a “now” to the Kingdom of God, but there is also a “not yet.” The Kingdom of God is less about instant gratification and more about little babies that take decades to develop and harvests that take the hard work of planting, weeding and gathering.
There are no drones, nor are there 30 minute guarantees. There is risk and sacrifice and joy that cannot be contained in a package. All I’m saying is that you don’t have to wait to start the journey.
Here is my Christmas challenge for today. Read the Gospels…yes all four…not all at once, just sometime this Christmas season. And as you read ask God to show you your next step on this journey of joining the one to make a difference in the world.