“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.
You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors!
As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:7 – 10)
Patience. Oh, beloved reader, how hard it is to be patient. This is the season that can test the patience and stamina of the old as well as the young. And as I consider this, I am reminded of part of a verse from the Christmas carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” where it says, “The hopes and fears of all the years, Are met in thee tonight.”
It is not just the “hopes and fears” of the past, but those same hopes and fears in our modern day, and the ones to come – all of them are met in the birth of Christ. When the angels burst on to the fields where the shepherds were, when the magi were called out of the distant lands from Bethlehem, when Mary and Joseph were pulled to Bethlehem – so many fears for the present and unknowns for the future. And the hopes that all would be well in the days to come. The shepherds were told not to be afraid; Mary and Joseph were each told not to be afraid, but to move forward trusting in the Lord; and the magi journeyed forth into a land that they had no experience in searching for a king that they did not know how to recognize. Yet each of them found what they were searching for, but had to be patient.
But, the author of James is not talking about waiting patiently for the baby Jesus to be born, but being patient until Christ the Lord returns. And while waiting, to live wisely holding to the teachings of Jesus and the disciples. The author of James says the prophets were patient in waiting for what they foretold to come to pass. Much of the Old Testament is said to be prophecy and foretelling of the coming of Christ. And the prophets were patient unto their death. We only need to wait a few weeks from Christmas, and mostly probably waiting on our best behavior would be easy. But waiting our enter lives . . . on our best behavior? Were going to need help with that!