December 12

 James 5:7-8

“Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.” vs. 7

Followers of Jesus in the early church fully expected him to come again and they believed that it would happen soon. Many thought that this would be the occasion for the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, and that all nations would be involved. For them it would be the fulfillment of what the Hebrew prophets had promised. When it didn’t happen, some became impatient and required regular reassurances from their leaders that it was going to happen. James tells them they need the patience of a farmer–the coming of the Lord was like a precious crop, and it wouldn’t come until all was in readiness. We too wonder when the promised peaceable kingdom will become a reality. We know things are not yet the way they’re supposed to be–there’s still too much violence and suffering–and it would be easy to lose faith that anything will ever change. Some may already have given up! It’s hard to be patient, especially when we’ve already been waiting for 2000 years! But waiting is really part of the plan. We already know that nothing worthwhile ever comes without it. Will it ever come? Of course, the seeds have been planted and we can see the signs–love and joy are in the air, not because Santa is on the way, but because Jesus has already come.

Thought for the Day: What feeds my impatience?

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