St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew † St Alban †
Sunday 3rd April 2011
The best TV advertisement ever (apparently) is the Guinness “surfer” ad which starts with a group of surfers patiently waiting, and waiting, for the perfect wave. When it comes they spring into action, grab their surfboards and ride the wave.
We are all waiting at the moment – waiting for it to get warmer and waiting for Easter which this year is almost as late as it can be. Easter, at least, is coming: today is Mother’s Day – the fourth Sunday in lent, next Sunday is Passion Sunday, then comes Palm Sunday and then Easter itself in three weeks time. After that things will get very busy. We have Bank Holidays, the royal wedding, Church events and, before we know it, exams, summer holidays and who knows what uncertainties the autumn and next year will bring.
These things are certain and will come in their own time. Some uncertain things are (relatively) trivial and easier to wait for, like knowing if our Olympic ticket application has been successful or if West Ham will be relegated (no). It is the other things that can be hard and stressful – medical tests, exam results, job applications, – whether for ourselves of for those around us. These things matter and it is the uncertainty and our powerlessness to alter them which makes it difficult. It is not in our hands but in the hands of others and we can do nothing.
When this waiting is over and the consequences known we can begin to deal with them. Reading the gospel accounts of Jesus’ preparation for His entry to Jerusalem, I was struck by how He faced the same uncertainties and even anguish but, once that decision had been made, the waiting was over and the time for action and resolution could begin. We are not good at waiting.