The Christian is expectant. We wait for Christ our Bridegroom.
But how do we wait? Like this?
I recently read Sam Harris quoting this statistic: 44% of Americans believe Jesus will 'certainly' or 'probably' return in the next 50 years. That's not 44% of American Christians. That's 44% of Americans!
Now I think Jesus could return today. But I also think He could be another few millennia. I'm not sure it's fruitful to put a time frame to this. But perhaps we know people who scour the newspapers for signs of antichrist - certain that the end is nigh. And by nigh - they mean Tuesday week.
Just before Jesus ascended His followers wanted to get an eschatological timetable from Him:
Acts 1:6-9: So when they had come together, they asked Him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
They wanted to know times and seasons. Jesus says 'That's not your job! Your job is to be witnesses to the ends of the earth."
We do not wait by worrying about when. We wait by witnessing.
Notice how Acts 1 continues:
10 And while they were gazing into heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven."
Even as Jesus goes - even as they're told that Jesus will return the same way! - the disciples receive a rebuke for gawping at the skies. They've been given their marching orders.
The posture of the church as we wait for Christ is not stationary, faces heavenwards. It's, verse 8, moving out from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth witnessing to Christ.
We wait by witnessing.