What happens when you can’t see the end? What do you do when you have no estimated time of arrival? Right now, many of us are waiting: waiting for justice, waiting for peace, waiting for healing, waiting for normalcy, for reconciliation, for hope…we are a people waiting. How can we wait well and what can we do while waiting for all of these things? Join us as we conclude the book of James and learn the art of waiting well when the end is not in sight.
How do we wait well?
"Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient." -James 5:7-8
1.We wait with...Patience: the interior capacity to withstand delay or trouble
"As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful." -James 5:10-11
We wait with the perspective of farmers and the character of Job + the prophets.
2. We wait with...Participation: the ability to join God’s activity
"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." -James 5:13-16
- PRAISE: rejoicing and singing in response to God’s goodness
- CONFESSION: vulnerable sharing of sin/weakness in Christian community
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- CARE: give and receive support from the body of Christ
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- PRAYER: talking and listening to God
"Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit." -James 5:17-18
- MISSION: proclaiming Jesus the King to all people
"My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins." -James 5:19-20