Thought for the Day from Janet Lindley of All Hallows’:
I want to go out! When can we stop this lock down? Why do we have to do this? I hate queuing at the supermarket. I want to see my family. I’ve seen enough of my family, why won’t they re-open schools. Should I wear a face mask? Why can’t I go for a walk in the Dales? Why won’t the government tell us when things will get better? Where’s the gin?
I don’t know what questions are running through your head, but maybe you’re finding things a bit tough at the moment. Maybe not all of the time, but perhaps tiredness sneaks up on you in waves, strange dreams invade your sleep or out of the blue you find yourself overcome by irritation?
Our readings today show us some different ways in which people respond to waiting. In Exodus, the Israelites, fed up of waiting for Moses to come back down the mountain with a message from God, decided to take matters into their own hands by melting their precious jewellery and building a golden cow. In Luke, we hear of the Jewish people flocking to see John the Baptist hoping that he was the Messiah (which means saviour) who would rescue them from military occupation. John’s response is to challenge – that there are no quick fixes or fast track applications for select groups, but that salvation comes through individually changed lives.
Here and now, where do we find ourselves in our current waiting game? Are we starting to believe rumours of a cure-all? Are we taking shortcuts to protect our own wealth and wellbeing at the expense of others? Have we given up on those who are leading us through our current desert? Have we given up on God?
Although the Bible is all about the way God reaches out in love to everyone and ultimately brings about rescue, much of the writings come from this period of waiting for something to happen. This time of waiting in trial is not something to be glossed over but something real. The writers of the Psalms (book of songs) spend half their time detailing their difficulties before God, and we can do the same. This song by Bifrost is a song of lament which may help you to lift up that pain to God. I pray that you will feel God’s presence with you even when things are challenging. And that God will strengthen you, comfort and sustain you in this present waiting.