Week beginning: 8th December, 2013
By The Hon Mr Justice Jeremy Cooke | London
"Be patient then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rain. You too be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. Do not grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door."James 5:7-9 (NIV)
It's 10:29 am and the Judge's clerk has just put the Judge's papers on the desk. You are due to open your defence case in just a moment. The Judge is standing at the door.
James' words may conjure up different images for advocates than for others, but his message is unmistakeable. The Judge at the door is not something of which to be afraid but something to look forward to with longing. Justice will come. His people will be vindicated.
The apparent victories of evil will become a thing of the past and the sin which drives us towards despair will be eradicated. Our own sin, the corruption of national law, the defilement of the church, the misleading ways of those in authority and the disregard of God will all be done away with. We look forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
So James exhorts us to be patient and to stand firm. Patience does not come naturally: nor does standing firm. It's much easier to fret, grumble, complain about our brothers and sisters in Christ and throw a wobbler. That leads to judgment.
Instead, be patient as you sow the seeds of the gospel and cultivate a harvest of righteousness. Stand firm in the knowledge that the Lord is coming. What better reason could there be.
The Judge is standing at the door. Maranatha - even so come Lord Jesus!
1) Pray for boldness to take opportunities to sow seeds and patience to let the Lord do His work.
2) Pray for those coming to the Carols services especially those who don't know the Lord.