November 29, Sunday                Waiting and Longing

Isaiah 60:19-22 (NRSV)

The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, or your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever. They are the shoot that I planted, the work of my hands, so that I might be glorified. The least of them shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation; I am the Lord; in its time I will accomplish it quickly.

As a child, the time leading up to certain significant events seemed to take so long. Christmas took forever to get here, the anticipation of birthdays and their celebrations took an eternity, and it felt like the school year would never end.  Today, as an adult, I find myself longing for those days when life seemed more leisurely and significant events took longer to arrive.  The anticipation was exciting, thrilling, exhilarating!

Yet today, there are other things that take too long.

In a country ranked among the richest in the world, yet 46 million of our people live in poverty and over 20% of our children under 18 go to bed hungry,
How long, o Lord, shall we wait?

With 400,000 children in the USA in foster care, separated from parents and families in crisis, How long, o Lord, shall we wait?

With over 2 million adults incarcerated and the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world,
How long, o Lord, shall we wait?

With the increased bloodshed of our youth across all races and ethnic groups,
How long, o Lord, shall we wait?

With the alarming statistics of domestic violence against women and children ever increasing, How long, o Lord, shall we wait?

As the children of Israel waited and longed for deliverance from the oppressors thousands of years ago, we too wait and long. We rest, however, in the assurance that these days of mourning will come to an end. The Lord our God is our everlasting light and will bring it all to pass at the right time. 

What are you doing to help God end the days of mourning while waiting and longing for the promised age of peace and joy?

O Lord, we confess our anguish in the midst of so much human frailty and suffering. Yet, we hold fast to your promise while we wait and long for a time when this will all come to pass in your time. As we wait and long, may we as children of God reflect your love in the midst of oppression. Amen.

By Patricia L. Griffen, CBFAR Moderator-Elect
New Millennium Church, Little Rock


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