Related Verses: Matt 24:35 – 25:46; 2 Pet 3; James 2:14-26; John 4:35-38; 1 Cor 3:6-8; Rev 21:1-4
We come now to the last of the lessons for this quarter, the last dealing with the big question of the role of the Christian Church in the community.
The lesson title, “How Shall we Wait?” warrants some comment for it has in it an indication that must not be missed. While we wait from the transition from the present age to the future one, what should the characteristics of our living and waiting be?
- Do you like to wait? What is good about waiting? What is bad about it? What do you do in order to wait “well?” What makes waiting intolerable?
At the start of the lesson, there are some very interesting few verses taken from Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 12:11-13. In these verses are some hints as to how best to wait. ~ “11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” There is quite a list that calls for some reflection:
- What would “Never be lacking in zeal” look like?
- What does it mean to “keep spiritual fervor,” and how does one go about doing that?
- Notice that “serving the Lord” is a good element when waiting is called for. Perhaps you heard the story of the Dark Day back in 1833 or so, where the day got very dark and people wondered what was happening. Some suggested it was the end of the world. In the Connecticut State Legislature on that day, the elected officials were meeting and word came to them of the outside phenomenon. Someone suggested the all quit and go home, but one senator put an end to that idea by saying that, if the darkness were a sign of the end of the world and the Lord’s coming, he would just as soon be found at work as anywhere else!
- What do you make of the link between joy and hope in these verses?
- How does one be patient in affliction? Any ideas?
- Prayer is a very big subject and one not always easy to understand. Here is an admonition to be faithful in prayer while waiting. What dynamic does prayer bring to life?
- Notice the admonition to share with those who are in need.
- Think about hospitality. Have you ever experienced it? What did it bring into your life? Have you ever extended it? Did it inconvenience you? Did it benefit you? What happens when people are not hospitable?
- What happens to zeal if there is a sense that there is yet before us an endless number of days?
- What brings urgency into your religious life?
- Peter in his letter (2 Peter 3), challenge the Christians of his day with the words, “What manner of persons ought you to be?” He said this right after talking about the tumult that is predicted to accompany the transition between the two ages already spoken of?
Something that should not escape the thoughts of those who believe in Jesus is the promise he made more than once, the promise that he would come again to this earth to catch up those who believe in him.
- Read Revelation 21:1-4 and meditate on the picture that emerges from that passage.
- Hope that has an end-goal is hope indeed!