In one chapter (ch. 11, ‘Waiting Well’) of her book Creating with God, Sarah Jobe likened her experience while waiting for her baby to be born to how we should wait for the (final) coming of Jesus (cf. Paul’s use of the analogy in Rm 8.19-23, 1 Thess 5.1-3).
When you know that a baby is coming, you prepare yourself, a lot. You change your lifestyle, change your diet, re-arrange your priority, read stuffs and whatnots, etc., for the sake of the baby. We make various changes in order to co-ordinate ourselves with the new, upcoming way of life. Likewise, when Jesus comes, many things will change as well. We will no longer live in the first but in the renewed heaven and earth. Thus, now we are preparing and readying ourselves to live according to the new reality.
Indeed, that’s why it’s called expecting and not merely ‘waiting’. We are not passively waiting but actively expecting the coming of the baby, the coming of Jesus. You don’t wait until it’s almost the time to deliver the baby before you start preparing for a new life after it. Although you don’t even know when exactly the baby will arrive, it’s really never too soon to start preparing for it. Likewise, now is always the best time to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Son of Man, to start living a renewed life which is fitting to the new heaven and earth. Merry Christmas!