“Behold, I am coming soon.” He says it twice in one chapter (Revelation 22:7,12).
Really, Lord? I have to ask. Two thousand years and counting … “soon”?
And he repeats it: “Surely I am coming soon” (vs 20).
Come, Lord Jesus! my heart cries out. Come! Please!
It’s not easy to wait, especially in our need. But Advent plunges us into the waiting, reminds us that there’s something at the end to make it all worthwhile. We are waiting for joy and blessing so great that if we would only fix our eyes on it, like Jesus we’d be able to endure even our daily crosses: the dying loved one. The rumors and false accusations. The unfaithful spouse. The insufficient funds. The discrimination. The attempted “cancellation” of our faith.
This final week of Advent, the Liturgy of the Hours reminds us that we’re not just waiting for something to happen, to save us; we’re waiting for someONE. Every evening it holds up a particular title of our Lord, giving us another bright reason to wait and leading us, step by step, to Christmas:
O Wisdom of God Most High:
Fill us with your truth!
O Lord, giver of the Law:
Guide and strengthen us in doing right!
O Root of Jesse, who revived that Messianic line:
Bring us new life!
O Key of David:
Unlock the bars and free us from sin!
O Radiant Dawn, Sun of justice:
Bring us to a new day; make wrong things right!
O King of the Nations:
End our divisions; rule us in peace!
O Emmanuel, “God with us”:
Come quickly. Be with us in power and love!
In my longing, I ask again: But when? How soon is “soon”?
He for whom a day is as a thousand years must have anticipated that we’d have trouble with the wait. So in Revelation 22, where the Lord is telling John he’ll be here soon, he invites us to come to him even as we beg for his presence:
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. […] (Rev 22:17)
Did you get that? While we’re waiting for him to come again in glory, he says “Come to ME.”
- Come if you’re thirsty, and I’ll fill you with living water until you overflow. (John 4:14)
- Come if you’re weary, and I’ll give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
- Come with your sins and I will forgive you. (1 John 1:9)
- Come with your hurts, and I’ll comfort you. (2 Corinthians 1:3–5)
- Come with your anxiety and I’ll give you peace. (Philippians 4:4–7)
- Come and even in the chaos, I’ll be with you and give you my peace. (John 14:27)
Wait for me … and in the meantime, I’ll fill you with joy. (1 Peter 1:8–9)
Jesus may have come and gone once and we may be waiting for him to come again, but he also is with us in real ways during this already-but-not-yet, in-between time of tension and longing for glory.
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Revelation 20:20–21).
God bless you and yours. And may your waiting be met with JOY!
© 2021 Sarah Christmyer
For further reflection:
- Any of the passages noted above are worth pondering and praying with as you wait.
- To pray with the O Antiphons themselves, see Is He Here Yet? Calling for Jesus with the O Antiphons
- For more about the O Antiphons: Celebrating Light: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
- In 2 Peter 3, Peter addresses the pain of waiting directly, encouraging people who are beginning to doubt that Jesus will ever come and explaining how to live in the meantime.
Invite Sarah to speak at your next Advent retreat or day or evening of reflection. Inquire here.
Joe Tringale says
Thank you. I love what you write. Do you ever come and speak in Southern California?
You definitely have a story that should be heard.
What a beautiful message.
Many blessings to your and your family this Christmas.
Sarah Christmyer says
Thank you, Joe! I have nothing planned there at the moment, but check my schedule from time to time — or if you know a parish or group that would like to host me, have them email through my website. Have a blessed Christmas!