Fulfill the Promise
By Jane Gardner, High Priest Quorum president
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.” —Jeremiah 33:14–16 NRSV
It’s not like waiting in the reception room for an appointment. Advent waiting is not boring.
It’s not like waiting for a clerk to call your number as the next customer in line. Advent waiting is not predictable, and it doesn’t follow a formula.
It’s not like waiting while the dental hygienist cleans your teeth. Advent waiting is not mindless or routine.
It’s more like the toddler who waits on tiptoes, arms uplifted, expecting the embrace of a loving parent. It’s not like waiting with bated breath to learn if we have gotten that new job. It’s not even like watching and waiting expectantly for the birth of a child. All of these types of waiting involve action, investment in the expectation, and believing in the promise.
We trust God’s faithfulness toward us. All the same, in our humanness, we often ask God to speak a word of hope to us. We think Jesus should come among us and fix what’s wrong with the world. We keep expecting that one day, at last, he will show himself, heal our illnesses, work justice, and make the world come out right.
But maybe he has already come, and we weren’t ready. In our watching and waiting, maybe we closed our eyes. Perhaps he already is walking beside us. Perhaps he continually is suggesting and guiding, but we just don’t hear. Maybe God already has delivered the faithful message of hope! Maybe God already has fulfilled the promise!
God’s gift during Advent is precisely hope. Advent is less about “the reason for the season” than about renewing our real, deep hope for the world. We grasp that hope and glimpse possibilities for what is ahead.
Even when Advent has come and gone, our sense of hope lives on. Sometimes all we can manage is to put one foot in front of the other, weighted by our many burdens. Yet day after day, our mission is to live as active disciples of Jesus Christ while we continue to watch and expectantly wait.
Beware! Keep alert! We do not know the day or the hour, but Christ comes!
Prayer for Peace
God of all hopefulness, as we wait for the promised Savior to “execute justice and righteousness,” help us, as disciples, take on the mission. He has shown us the way to peace.
Spiritual Practice: Advent—Hope
Close your mind to troubling thoughts from the past by placing them in God’s generous hands and letting them go. Let God speak to your fearful heart. Think of your hope for the future—open windows in your mind through which you can see compassionate actions. Reflect on the approaching hope of the Christ child. What is your part in the reason for that hope? Rejoice in the Hope of the world.
Today, God, I will be aware that what I hope for may be right in front of me.