Worship with Us This Sunday - 10:15 a.m.
“Well, what are you waiting for?” The normal tone of this question implies a decision is in the works and someone is prodding, pressing you to get on with it. You stand thinking. Racing through your mind are the outcomes, the consequences. Wrestling with what it will mean to “get on with it.” We wait.
Maybe you heard these words standing on the edge of the diving board as you tempted fate with your very first venture into the “deep end.” Timidly you stare into the water. If you could only be sure. It appears to be the same water at the other end. There are no dividing walls in the swimming pool. Maybe just a rope. What you do know is the bottom is further from you at this end than at that end. You hear the words, “Well, what are you waiting for?”
Later in life we hear these words as we test the waters of a particular vocation, acknowledge our feelings at the outset of a promising relationship, or wonder if we should answer the phone knowing the need to repair a broken relationship with the person on the other end of the line. “Well, what are you waiting for?” We cannot see the bottom of these decisions any more clearly than the bottom of the deep end of the pool. We stall. We wait. We seek.
What are you looking for? What are you seeking? In our texts this week, John the Baptist invites those who have been listening to his crying in the wilderness to see Jesus as the one for whom they (and so we) have been waiting for, looking for, seeking. The long waiting began with the promise. Isaiah presents us with waiting and seeking met with the “I will” of the Voice. Israel knew well the wasted years and disappointment surely marked their failure to live into, “in whom I will be glorified.” What next? Will we ever hear the “Voice?” The prophet said so. Temporally we do. Again and again these tremors of what is to come keep pointing us forward. Voices pointing, yet softened. We wait and seek.
And, then we write songs, “I waited patiently for the LORD.” What we want to write is, “he inclined his ear to me and heard my cry.” My waywardness overtaken by his mercy. On the other side of the Resurrection, the Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthian Christians of this, their very own experience. Their own timidness to step out and reflect the glory of God’s goodness. Opting instead for vanity and selfishness.
Survival, we think, depends all on us. Somehow it is in our wiring to survive. It is as if we are complete unto ourselves. Then we finally hear a voice speaking for the Voice. The witness points to him whom we have waited for and seek. “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” The scales fall. That which was intended to be seen and spur praise, glory and thanksgiving now may be seen. The One has arrived. The ear is now inclined. His faithfulness points us to his worthiness to trust. His faithfulness draws our attention to all the other voices dampened by the barriers of our own making.
And we then declare this Good News to the ends of the earth.