Lenten Reader | Day 16

We Wait in Hope

We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.

Psalm 33:20-22
Waiting is usually a theme associated with Advent as we await the arrival of Jesus on the scene and look forward to His second coming. So why is this passage from Psalm 33 included in traditional Lenten readings? And why is it the title of the year’s Lenten Reader?

The answer is that while Lent is a time for repentance and self- reflection, its nature as a 40-day build-up to Easter also lends itself to anticipation and waiting. Over the course of these six weeks of Lent, we await the most significant events in human history – the death and resurrection of Jesus. But as we reflect and mourn, we also await the celebration of our salvation and the righteousness that we have in Jesus on Easter.

And waiting doesn’t come naturally to us in the 21st century. We don’t wait anymore. I have never been more aware of this than I have recently because my youngest son has been playing basketball in Columbus, and we make the hour-plus drive each Saturday. And he hates it. He’s so bored without the constant input that he’s used to that he can hardly stand it. He can’t wait. And neither can we. It is our modern condition.

So waiting becomes a spiritual practice for us modern people. We practice waiting during Lent because it is good for us. It is what our Scriptures teach us to do. We wait on the Lord. But we wait with hope. We know what is at the end of our waiting. We know that light will dawn on our darkness and that Jesus will be there to welcome us – as he already is now.

Let’s wait during this season. Let’s wait on the Lord in hope of redemption and salvation.

Erik Allsop