Recently I made the mistake of going grocery shopping on Monday at 5 p.m. As I pulled into the parking lot, I quickly discovered that there were no available parking spaces. So, I carefully prowled up and down the lot in search for an open space. Yet no parking spots were to be found. I did the same thing three more times and still no parking space. Finally, I decided the best strategy was to camp out near the front of the store in hopes that I might find something. There I sat waiting as the minutes crawled by. Frustrated, I drove to the lot of an adjacent store and parked there. Yet, of course, as soon as I did, two spots became available right in front of the grocery store!
In Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus tells a parable about wheat and the weeds. It is a parable about waiting. The image is that of a farmer sowing seed in his field and, at night, someone nefariously sows weeds among the good seeds so that as the wheat comes up, the weeds are mixed in with the good stuff. Upon seeing this, the workers ask the farmer, “Do you want us to go and pull them [the weeds] up?” (v.28) The farmer’s response is surprising. He says, “No, for in gathering the weeds, you would uproot the wheat among them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest.” (v.29)
Waiting is hard. Waiting for an injustice to be made right is even harder. Yet we must remember that God is at work in the midst of our waiting. He has sent his Son, atoned for our sin, adopted us into his family and given us the Spirit of the age-to-come. So, our waiting is optimistic—it is filled with hope and faith that God will one day complete the work he has already begun to “put the world to rights.”
New Testament Scholar and former Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright summarizes our waiting this way: “We wait with patience, not like people in a dark room, wondering if anyone will turn on a light, but like people in the early morning--who know that the sun has risen, and are now waiting for the full brightness of midday.”
As we move forward as a church, let us remember to remain hopeful that things will get better, especially when we remember that God has already acted to make them better. As followers of Jesus, we are a people who have experienced the warm rays of the early morning sun and we wait joyfully in expectation for the “full brightness” of the day.