A message from Father Michael for the Sunday devotions for 31st May (Pentecost Sunday)


Waiting

The period between Ascension and Pentecost (this coming Sunday 31st May) is a period of waiting and praying for the Disciples ref. Acts 1:- After His suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait there for the promise of the Father. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer.

We can imagine that having experienced the risen Lord for forty days after his resurrection the disciples would have been keen to get out amongst the people and spread the good news of the Gospel. However, the instruction from Jesus was explicit, wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Scripture is full of instructions to wait, some of which are:- Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord, and Our soul waits for the Lord, he is our help and our shield also Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.

The worldwide lockdown, because of the pandemic, has been difficult for everybody but especially perhaps for the younger generation because they are more used to instant gratification. In the past, people had to wait for things. They had patience and realized that not everything in the world is instant. Society now demands that everything should happen right away and we should not have to wait for anything, but that is making the world full of impatient, entitled people. Instant gratification has caused a lot of problems in society, including taking away face-to-face communication, patience and certainty.

It is in this context that people are finding it exceedingly difficult physically, mentally and spiritually to deal with the current situation and the restrictions on their movements and relationships. As Christians, it is at times like this that we have to put our whole trust in the Lord in the sure and certain knowledge that He is there for us.

The Iona Community is a dispersed Christian ecumenical community based in Scotland working for peace and social justice, rebuilding of community and the renewal of worship. Herewith a prayer from that Community relevant to the above.

You keep us waiting,
You the God of all time want us to wait for the right time in which to discover who we are,
where we must go, who will be with us and what we must do.
So, thank you for the waiting time.
And in all this you keep us through hard questions with no easy answers.
Through failing where we hoped to succeed and making an impact when we felt useless
Through the patience and the dreams and the love of others
And through Jesus Christ and his Spirit, you keep us.

Fthr. Michael Jarman