by Sarah Brock
AM Psalm 41, 52; PM Psalm 44
1Kings 13:1-10; Philippians 1:1-11;
Waiting is an art that is slowly becoming lost to us. Everything is available immediately. We can watch movies on demand, purchase items online with one-click shopping, eat fast food, and rush from one activity to the next all while keeping up with our emails and social media. I may find myself waiting for a bus, but I’m really absorbing the news, responding to emails, and listening to a podcast. I may find myself waiting in line, but I’m really catching up with family over the phone or texting a friend.
The loss of everyday waiting seems to make waiting for the big stuff even more challenging. It’s hard to acknowledge that instant gratification has limits and even harder to appreciate waiting for a job, a home, stability, healing, or recovery. I want peace, justice, and love to prevail now. I want the Kingdom to arrive now.
Today, Joseph of Arimathea is a reminder of what it means to wait. His attitude and actions teach us how to wait.
Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Joseph demonstrates a way of waiting that is filled with expectation and bold action. He’s not passively waiting for God to bring about the Kingdom. Instead, he is preparing, making space, for the Kingdom to enter into the world. I wonder what the story would have looked like if Joseph had been less bold. As it stands, his act of preparing Jesus’ body, laying it in the tomb, and rolling the stone into place under the watchful eyes of the two Marys sets the stage for the drama of the resurrection. Would there have been more confusion about the validity of Jesus resurrection without this confirmation and intentional awareness of his death? Would it have taken longer to notice the resurrection if there was no tomb to find empty? The effect of Jesus’ reappearance would likely be much more suspect without the finality of death offered through his burial.
Like Joseph, we can also find ways to wait actively, expectantly, and boldly. We can make preparation, creating space in the world and in our own hearts for the Kingdom of God. Perhaps through a spiritual practice. Perhaps through activism. Perhaps through community leadership. Or maybe it’s some combination of practices. Are you bold and expectant in your waiting? How are you preparing for the Kingdom to break through?
Sarah Brock is a Postulant for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Massachusetts and lives in Boston.
Image Credit: Sarah Brock. Cricket waiting expectantly and boldly asking for her dinner.