In the Meantime

Back in 2007, anticipating a busy hurricane season, the state of Florida lowered Lake Okeechobee. But instead of storms, they got a drought. The combined effects of the water regulation and the drought brought the nations second largest inland lake to its lowest level on record. Even in normal times Okeechobee is a shallow lake. But now many square miles of lake bed were exposed. Droughts are generally bad news. They're bad news for farmers, and bad news for those who rely on water tourism. The drought of 2007 was no different. But this time there was a silver lining. Lifelong Floridian Boots Boyers was piloting his airboat on the lake one day when he began to notice shards of pottery, arrowheads and jewelry protruding from the dry soil. Boyers was smart enough to notify local and state archaeologists. Ryan Wheeler, Florida's chief archaeologist, was pleased: "This is a big deal. Before Boots contacted us this year, we knew of about three or four archeological sites out here and now we know about 33." The find was a wonderful opportunity for scientists to learn about the Native Americans who had lived in the region anywhere from 500 to 1,000 years ago. They found shells that had been carried hundreds of miles to be fashioned into jewelry. They also found old paddleboats and parts of steamboats that were over 100 years old. Since then the waters have slowly been rising, covering all of the artifacts that could not be excavated in time. Future droughts will continue to be bad news, but they will also be good news for the archaeologists who will be quick to search for new treasures. For now, they are waiting. This morning we're going to be talking about another kind of wait-the wait for the appearance of the Messiah, the anointed one of God. Actually we'll talk about two waits. The first period of waiting happened between the Old and New Testaments. The second one is happening now. We are waiting for the Messiah's return. This wait isn't always easy, but just like with the drought in Florida there are treasures to be found. There are things to be done while we wait. There is Good News to be spoken in the meantime. I hope you hear some this morning.