Waiting on the World to Change

“…creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed…We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth…” – Romans 8:19, 22

In 2006 singer-songwriter John Mayer won a Grammy for his song, “Waiting on the World to Change”. In the first verse John Mayer writes, “Now we see everything that’s going wrong / With the world and those who lead it / We just feel like we don’t have the means / To rise above and beat it”. He has said the song was about inaction because of a perceived lack of power. John Mayer explained it this way: “It’s saying, ‘Well, I’ll just watch American Idol because I know that if I were engaged in changing anything for the better, it would go unnoticed or be completely ineffective.’ A lot of people have that feeling.” While John Meyer might be right that this bleak outlook is common, it is not the only message! The book of Romans speaks of waiting for change from a different, and more hopeful, perspective.

The Apostle Paul says that all of creation is waiting on the people of God to be revealed. The world is waiting for us to change. Creation eagerly anticipates the day that we live fully into our identity as God’s beloved children. Paul uses the image of a pregnant mother to illustrate that this hope is not in vain. The longed for change within us is taking place little by little and will be brought to fruition.

Paul’s encouragement reminds us that change will in fact come, in us, through us, and around us. He reminds us that our waiting for this revelation isn’t passive. We are called to actively participate in the change.

During the season of Advent we await the coming of the Christ child. May we remember that during this season the world is waiting and watching for the body of Christ, i.e. the church, to model hope, peace, joy, and love.