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29 November 2016

Tuesday 29 November

[Matthew 24: 1-14]

Waiting Expectantly Through Trouble

Today we read of Jesus warning his disciples about all the daunting and fearful things that they can expect to happen before he brings in his Kingdom in all its fullness. They are to wait expectantly through times of great trouble: the clash of nations, the threat to their personal safety, disruption in their relationships, confusion about what is true and stable. In fact, nothing can be relied upon except God’s promise that those who hold on to the end will be delivered.

Tom Wright likens this time to birth pangs, and anyone who has seen the first signs of labour (or indeed has experienced them) knows that this can be a very painful time. And yet, what is awaited at the end of this testing time, is something longed for and wonderful – the birth of a new life. As the labour pains intensify it is hard to remember anything except how to get through the pain, but the insistence of the new life waiting to be brought into the world will not be held back.

How can we wait expectantly during times of trouble? Only by knowing and being confident that God’s promise of new life will come to pass: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21: 4).

 

For further reflection, please read Tom Wright – Advent for Everyone, A Journey Through Matthew, pages 9-14