In my sermon this past Sunday, I talked about ‘holy waiting’ – a term first suggested to me by a colleague some years ago. It seems to have struck a chord with many of you, so I thought I would share some excerpts today:
Holy Waiting is different from regular waiting – Holy Waiting is time spent noticing God’s presence and seeing God’s purpose and looking forward in hope for what we cannot yet see or even imagine! Holy waiting is time spent actively seeking and listening for the presence of God at work in our world.
Maybe we still have a chance to be intentional about how we spend these days of isolation and separation. Maybe there is still an opportunity to transform our ‘waiting for this pandemic to be over, waiting for life to go back to normal’ and instead enter into a time of Holy Waiting! What if we were to spend the days, the weeks, the months ahead, not mired in anxiety and fear and hopelessness, but engaged in Holy Waiting: with an attitude of reflection, with an attitude of hope and expectation, that God’s purpose for us and for the whole of Creation will be revealed to us in God’s time.
Waiting is hard, but Holy Waiting is a gift from God. Holy Waiting will involve us in gathering together, even if only virtually – to worship, to pray, to sing, to hear words of scripture, to listen to the stillness of silence, to wait with hope and expectation for God’s guiding Word to be given to us. It will mean we have to wait for God’s new way forward to be shown to us, and it might not look at all like where we came from before! And yet it will be God’s way!
I invite you to spend these days not just “waiting” – but actively pursuing “holy waiting” in whatever way that might be possible for you.