Sermon Illustration: Waiting and Hastening

From Fleming Rutledge’s Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ:

Waiting and hastening! How can you wait and hasten at the same time? That, my fellow Americans, is the secret of the Christian life, knowing how to keep those two modes in creative tension, “waiting and hastening the coming day of God. . . [the] new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” This is so typical of Advent, the time of contrasts and opposites: darkness and light, good and evil, past and future, now and not-yet. Finding the right balance between waiting and hastening is the challenge of our existence in the body of Christ until he comes again. We might call it “action in waiting.”

The Lord is still out in front of us. His future still approaches, his future in which all will be made new. His promise is sure; he will come. We make ready for him, this Advent season and every season, by lighting whatever little lights the Lord has put in front of us, no light too small to be used by him, action in waiting, pointing ahead, looking to Christ and for Christ.

(Taken from the chapter entitled “Waiting and Hastening,” a sermon from 2 Peter 3:11-13)

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