Psalm 145:15-16 (KJV)
15The eyes of all wait upon thee;
And thou givest them their meat in due season.
16Thou openest thine hand,
And satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
“The eyes of ALL wait…”
Christmas will come in muted tones this year. Grief at the loss of so many rituals and traditions that orient us, carry us, ground us. And for too many, the loss of loved ones to the virus. Or cancer or age or dementia or to despair. The Psalmist makes clear there is no one who is not waiting on God for something – food, healing, freedom, hope, peace.
What are YOU waiting on God for?
For people of faith, the waiting is pregnant, expectant. We wait for God to deliver on the promise of “meat in due season (15),” of the satisfaction of the desire of every living thing (16).
It seems like an exceptionally tall order in 2020. And I worry that it’s too much to ask of God, as if my prayers are like a child’s exhaustive list of toys for Santa. Like I’ve built a relationship with a divine vending machine god that dispenses everything I want.
“The eyes of all wait…”
In the night, in a stable, in human flesh, God delivers on the promise. And at first glance, it doesn't seem like much – a baby born to a too-young mother on the run.
What sort of king will he be?
How will he be able to establish his reign from such humble beginnings?
Surely this can't be what God intended.
Even John the Baptist gets confused by Jesus. From prison, John asks, “Are you the one or are we to wait for another?" (Mt. 11:3)
Jesus doesn't look like what we expect. He doesn’t act like we expect. He doesn’t deliver what we expect. Jesus disappoints our expectations of him. He crushes them really – exposes our tepid, temperate, too-little faith.
Instead of defeating the Roman government, he defeats sin, death, and the devil.
Instead of lifting up the powerful (anyone can do that), he lifts up the lowly.
Instead of establishing his reign in Rome, he establishes it in all creation.
Instead of taking up arms, he takes up a cross and with it all the sin and guilt and shame of humanity.
Instead of coming with fanfare and trumpet blast, he comes in the night, in the dark, in the ordinary, in love.
And it turns out to be exactly what we need.
This Christmastide, we wait, together with all the world, in expectant hope for the satisfaction of the desire of every living thing.
May we have eyes to see the wonder and miracle and hope that is Jesus, the Christ, born for us this night. Amen.
Rev. Louise Johnson, LEAD Director of Leadership Development