Waiting for the Promises

The days are surely coming when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.” Jeremiah 33:14-16

Jeremiah is talking about God’s promise to bring justice and righteousness to the people. Jeremiah also restates the promise of God to make the king be a person who believes and executes justice for all. God also has made promises of faithfulness, forgiveness, good news for the oppressed, a new heaven and a new earth, and salvation through the coming of a Messiah. These promises were sometimes believed and at other times they seemed impossible. Can we today really believe that with God all the promises are possible in the midst of the turmoil of our world?

The scriptures of Advent are full of God’s promises of justice, mercy, righteousness, and help for the poor and oppressed. But haven’t we waited long enough for God to fulfill those promises? Why must we continue to wait for the coming of God’s reign? We are impatient and want instant justice, eradication of evil, and solutions to all the problems of our world. Yet, once again this Advent we are waiting. We wait for God’s time, but in the midst of our waiting we work for justice because we wait with hope that God’s promises will be fulfilled.

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
through eternal ages let his praises ring;
glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,
standing on the promises of God my Savior;
standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

R. Kelso Carter

O God, we thank you for your continued presence even when we are impatient for immediate change in our own circumstances and those of the world. Your promises are kept as we “keep the faith” and work to bring about justice in our time. Help us to imagine your new heaven and new earth and to be alert to those places that you are now working. May our waiting this Advent be filled with hope, love, and peace. Amen


Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence




Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.