Advent Reflection – James 5.7-10

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. – James 5.7-10

It is impossible for me to read a text like this and not be struck by our worship of technological toys. If Christ was born in the fullness of time then I believe the scriptures were also breathed in a fullness of time. So I further believe the imagery and examples found on those pages reflect ideals that hold a constancy foreign to our downloadable, 4G days. We do have a frail familiarity with the farmer and the rains. But it is frail. No, I’m not a Luddite. And no, I don’t feel everyone should move to the country. But I do believe we must live stout-hearted in our waiting…we must be patient.

Choosing to do things the hard way is hard.
This way involves not caring how most of today
thinks for most today only care about speed and
quick and faster, which is not the way of the nonsense
farmer or the lunatic prophet or the tarrying Judge
leaning in the doorway.
To be patient you must strengthen your heart.
Such coeur vaillant is only earned by staying corded
to the earth and the world of life, by becoming a poet of
the way we used to be, declaring: Je m’en fiche! 
Speak it hard like that or you’ll be possessed by the ever
impatient toys of convenience.

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  1. Winn Collier on December 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I’m very glad you gave the nod to a stout heart. I wanted to linger more over the encouragement to “Strengthen our heart.” I’m not sure there are any more timely words for us than these.

  2. chrishollysmith on December 16, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Beautiful. And timely. Thank you brother! And many blessings on you and your family.

    Holly Smith

  3. Susan Irene Fox on December 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Just finished reading Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster. Agree wholeheartedly. Waiting becomes delight; inconvenience is not inconvenient at all when choosing to focus on the Kingdom.

  4. Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk on December 17, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Listened to a sermon this Sunday on Mary’s words “let it be.” I think I always saw that as being a passive stance but I’m learning, as I wait, wait, wait this year, how much strength it takes to “live in the passive voice” as the Quakers say. I will be pondering the image of a “stout heart” for awhile now.

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