Saturday, December 03, 2011

Advent 2011 : Day 7

Paul writes to the waiting church in Corinth:

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in him you have been enriched in every way – with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge – God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you.  Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.  He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:3-9 [emphasis mine].

Not you (singular) and you (singular) and you (singular) have each been given every spiritual gift you need; but, you (plural) have together been given every spiritual gift that you need.

And we, who have been waiting for two-thousand years, have been given every spiritual gift that we need.  Including each other, ministering in enriched speech and knowledge: the one whose hope has slowly died, who feels a hypocrite, needs the one who has only just begun to wait, in hopeful expectation; the one who is first starting to experience the deferment of the fulfilment of their hope needs the one who has navigated those waters before and come out the other side.

Only when we embrace the discipline of waiting are we able to notice those around us, who wait: the families of service men and women, who wait for a knock on the door that they hope will never come...the child of a parent gripped by dementia, who feels guilty that they continue to live and who will feel no less guilty when they finally die...the dreamer who imagines a more just world than we live in...

Only when we embrace the multi-faceted experience of waiting are we able to begin to learn, together, from one another, how to live – not merely exist – in the now, in the light of the absence of the One we long for...

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