I’ve noticed that people experience waiting in really different ways.
Sometimes people were pleasant. They would strike up a conversation with the person in front of them or behind them. Waiting created community sometimes.
Sometimes people would get out their phones and spend their time waiting texting or playing games. During the holidays, at pretty much any store we go to, you can observe people waiting.
Some people are okay waiting. Some people use it as an opportunity to talk with those around them. Some go internal and whip out their phones. I’m not sure what they did before smart phones. Still others become impatient. They think something must be wrong.
If people are busy doing something else, they don’t even notice that they’re waiting.
And that’s what Paul is getting at in our Scripture today, he’s telling the church at Corinth how to wait for God.
They’re growing impatient. They’re tired of seeing all the suffering, all the injustice, all the evil in their world.
They have trusted that God is at work in and through them to make things right, but as time drags on they begin to doubt this.
They sensed God at work in their own life and they started paying more attention to that than the mission they were on in Corinth. They went internal. Like people who pull out their phones while they’re waiting.
So in our Scripture Paul says, “…you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus….”
Your spiritual gifts are not to be the focus of your faith. You are not to lose your focus on your larger mission. You are to use your gifts while you wait for God to complete the new creation that started with Jesus.
Your gifts are to create community, to build one another up, and to help you on the larger mission that God has called you to.
Whether you have the gift of hospitality or compassion or helping or administration, you are to use them in cooperation with others. That’s the only way the Corinthian Christians could carry out their mission.
And the only way we can carry out ours. Together.
And that’s the way we wait for God. Together.
It requires us to work together. To share our gifts with one another.
Friends, we are not lacking in any spiritual gift as we wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus.
He will also strengthen us to the end, so that we may be blameless, working for God, with God, until all things are made new.