Abide with me, fast falls the even-tide.
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies.
Heav’ns morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord abide with me.
Lutheran Service Book #878
Last time, “We Wait” was an attempt to capture a sense of the human condition of waiting. We wait for different things at different times; we can wait together, however that waiting expresses itself as an individual internal conflict. When we wait together as finite creatures, the ever forward march of time intrudes and other tasks beckon to be recognized, so as not to waste the time resource. Multi-tasking anyone? We tend to be not so much as human “beings” but as human “doings”. We wait and it hurts.
Is it a product of our society: culture combined with technology? Sure. Unplug from technology? Reform to a more Christian culture? Again, sure. I’ll wait. Maybe I could abide?
In the back of my mind was the above hymn, and John 15:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
The answer to the human condition “waiting” is the biblical condition of “abiding”. Jesus has made us clean through the Gospel. We are connected, we abide in him, and he abides in us. With his joy in us, our joy will be complete (EHV). The Father is glorified by “bearing fruit,” being Jesus’ disciple. Since in Christ we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) you have eternal life now (Romans 6:22) you do not have to wait, because the finite time element is removed. You do, however, have to abide. And that has to do with Jesus.
Trust the Promises,