Anticipate: Present-Waiting

Written by admin on Dec 17, 2018 in - No Comments
article_image_full

Why is waiting so hard? Is it because we long so deeply for what has yet to be realized, or because we fail to cultivate an awareness of God’s presence in the context of the “not yet”? In this third sermon of our Advent series, Anticipate, Ian opens up John 16 and invites us to shift our focus from what we are waiting on to whom we are waiting with.

Sermon Discussion Questions

  • At the beginning of his sermon, Ian confessed, “I don’t like waiting.” What about you? What do you dislike about waiting? What comes to mind as something that has been particularly hard for you to wait for?
  • In John 16:16–24, Jesus prepares his disciples for a time of waiting ahead of them. How does he describe this time of waiting? If you were one of the disciples, what might have been going through your mind as he was speaking?
  • On the surface, our problem with waiting is our longing for what is not yet, but Ian pointed out that the real problem of waiting may be our failure to be present to God in the waiting. How would you describe your awareness of God (or lack of awareness of God) in your various experiences of waiting?
  • “You have grief now,” Jesus said to his disciples, “but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you” (John 16:24). Ian pointed out that the turning point from grief to joy in this verse is Jesus’s statement: “I will see you.” What does the prospect of being seen by God evoke in you?
  • Ian said, “To wait well is less about how clearly we can see God in our waiting and more about growing in our awareness that we are seen, loved, and embraced.” To remind himself that he is seen, loved, and embraced, Ian has been engaging the practice of a daily office. Is there a practice you have engaged or could engage to remind you that you are seen, loved, and embraced by God?
  • Romans 8:24–25 in The Messagesays, “We are enlarged in the waiting.” What do you think this means? Have you ever experienced what this verse is talking about?
  • Take a quiet moment with God, asking him to help you grow in your awareness of him in the context of your waiting.