Prayer: In this advent season, O Lord, give the persistent expectation that you come to me every moment of life. Amen
Reading: James 5:7-10 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Patience! Be patient! One person who sends me emails has a signature line that says, “I need patience, Lord, and I need it now!” Some days I really resonate with that. How about you?
James tells the first century folks to be patient waiting for the coming of the Lord. He also says that the coming of the Lord is near. Hmmmmmm. We’re still waiting!
We wait and we wait and we wait. Perhaps we can find another meaning in this passage and in this Advent season. In reality, our Lord is with us. Every day, every moment. Often we just aren’t aware. We’re too busy, perhaps, trying to figure things out on our own. Or maybe what Jesus shares with us is not what we want. Often, we just aren’t expecting Jesus in our daily lives. Too often we are far too busy to even being close to the idea of patience.
I suggest that today “be patient” might just mean, “be persistent” in our expectation that Jesus is here. Jesus does come, every day. Perhaps as we look for Jesus more carefully and expectantly, we’ll discover that, indeed, Jesus’ coming is near. That is, he is always very near to us. Come Lord, Jesus. --Jim Bricker
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