Actively waiting for Jesus

Actively waiting for Jesus

What does the word “waiting” conjure up in your mind? I think of sitting in a dentist’s waiting room, flipping through old magazines. Or perhaps of being in a traffic jam, unable to do very much, looking at the taillights of the car in front. These forms of waiting are frustrating and unproductive, simply passing the time until the event we are waiting for comes about.

Most of us are not very good at waiting. We easily get frustrated and upset when we need to wait even a couple of minutes longer than we expected. We struggle to wait and fill the time, usually with music or mindless scrolling on our phones.

The Bible describes the Christian life as waiting for Jesus to come back, including in Matthew 24 and 25. We are to “keep watch” like the faithful servant (24:42) and the wise virgins (25:13). And we are to continue to do this, even if our master is delayed much longer than we expected. The waiting in these parables is something that is anticipated to take a long time, so long that even the ones who are ready will fall asleep while waiting! Yet, while we wait, we are to get on with the job that has been assigned to us. We are to be active in serving our master while we wait.

This means that two things are true at the same time, and we must not forget either of them:

  1. Christians are people who are waiting for something better. We should be thinking and praying about Jesus’ return often. It should fill us with joy as we consider the time that is coming when our Lord returns and all will be made right. We mustn’t live as if this world is our eternal home. Our citizenship is in heaven, so we must be forward-looking people.
  2. Christians are those who serve our master actively while we wait. While it is true that Jesus will return and that time will be glorious for believers, we have a task now. We are not to do the equivalent of flipping through old magazines or mindlessly scrolling through our phones as we wait. We should be serving our master with all we have. We should be active in growing in our love for God and our neighbours.

The Christian life is not only busy-work to fill the time as we wait for the real deal. It is part of our eternal life, something that starts when we are saved and will be consummated when Jesus comes back. Let’s get on with the job as we actively wait. Come, Lord Jesus.