Morning Ps. 122, 145
Evening Ps. 40, 67
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Thess. 5:9
I am often afraid to read the book of Thessalonians because of it agitating end times themes. Not only because of my childhood nightmares of seeing such end times movies such as Distant Thunder and A Thief in the Night, but because the church on the other end of this letter is one feeling let down by expectations. They obviously believed that they would be once again greeting their messiah within their lifetimes. When a few deaths occurred and some of the great saints of the church started to pass I can almost hear the dejection of this apocalyptic community.
“Hey, weren’t we promised something here? I want Jesus now, returning in a cloud of glory, and I want him to take away my pain!” Except that is not how it happens. They are let down, dejected and dispirited idealists.
That is me way too often. Waiting, waiting and waiting for something spiritual. Showing me that my expectations often exceed my finitude. In this season of waiting the reality is that there might be disappointments. Disappointment in family, disappointment in friends and sometimes disappointment with God can crop up in the midst of the stress to have the perfect holiday experience. That is okay. For something spiritually miraculous to grow amongst us we must first confront our unrealistic expectations. Then we can accept we are not created for suffering but for the freedom of salvation as beloved creations.
Christ be born in us today. Amen.