27 May Thought for the Week 27th May – Rev’d Alison Judge
Are you a patient person? I hope that I am when it comes to people but I know that when it comes to life in general I am not very patient. I like to know what is going to happen – and what I need to do to be ready for the task. Not knowing details of plans that affect me makes me very anxious and impatient.
I was interested in the ideas in Belemo’s Sunday homily when she spoke about waiting. I realise that I don’t relish having to wait. And yet, in the situation we find ourselves in the need to learn patience has been thrust upon us. We are living through a time of great uncertainty and the medium to long term future doesn’t look even remotely more predictable. So we wait.
These days between Ascension, last Thursday and Pentecost, this coming Sunday are days of waiting. Jesus told his disciples, “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” (John 14: 25) Jesus told the disciples to return to Jerusalem and remain there, a bit like lockdown. So they waited, prayerfully and expectantly.
When we look back through history, and indeed when we read the Bible, we tend to focus on the dramatic events, the dynamic actions, but there is also a lot of waiting. The people of God, that’s us, are a people who need to cultivate this patient waiting on God. Always waiting on the Holy Spirit, ready and waiting for the Kairos moment, the moment when God moves things on.
With this global pandemic we are eager to know what comes next: will schools go back, will gyms open and the rhythm of work return? When can we meet again in church? We may feel battered by mountains of information, government briefings and seemingly conflicting views.
I came across this quotation from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ, the French philosopher and priest, on the Susanna Wesley Foundation website https://susannawesleyfoundation.org/ part of their excellent online theme Flourishing.
As we pray in these days for a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit in God’s people we pray also for those fruits of the Spirit that enable us to live faithfully: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
These days are the most trying most of us have lived through and we should not underestimate the challenge they pose but neither can we lose sight of God’s grace which is sufficient. These days are like no other days but the Lord is here, His Spirit is with us.