Matthew 11:2-11 (NRSV)
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Verse 2When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples Verse 3and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" Verse 4Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: Verse 5the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. Verse 6And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me."
Verse 7As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? Verse 8What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. Verse 9What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. Verse 10This is the one about whom it is written, 'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' Verse 11Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
“I’m bored,” my daughters declared from the back seat, only an hour into a long day’s drive to our vacation destination. They had burned through the best of my pre-planned activities, and it was hard not to sympathize, knowing all too well the struggle with the suffering of boredom.
I myself had packed three books, a crochet project, two movies on my phone, and car snacks. The “not-quite-there-yet” state of waiting was painful for me too.
I realized that all the entertainment—the study, the work, the consumption in the face of boredom—was an escape from the time and space to reflect on the things I’d avoided and to feel regret for the things I’d done. The agony of waiting, I discovered, was not the waiting itself, but what was waiting there for me—the “not-quite-there-yet” reminder of our sinful world and my sinful self.
Dear God, be with us in the painful journey of anticipation as we arrive at your daily promise of reconciliation, trusting in the life and forgiveness already offered in your Son, Jesus Christ. In your patience and comfort we pray, Amen.