Word of the Week

Lent Waiting

Seems odd to talk about waiting and hope during Lent. As long as I have been around the concept of seasons of the Christian year, "waiting" and "hope" have been traditional Advent words. 

But isn't waiting something we do all year?

Isn't waiting central to the idea of 40 days a part from normalcy in preparation for Easter?

Two weeks ago, Washington Plaza hosted several area pastors during the February meeting of the Reston Ministerim.  I had the opportunity to talk to the group of pastors gathered about our regular ESL ministry and other church services and programs that makes us unique. 

We also talked about our frustrations and joys as we seek to shepherd people in the local churches-- all in a spirit of waiting on God's good future. And, we sought to center ourselves in prayer.

The following prayer by Sharlande Sledge was used as our guide:

Look upon us gently, Lord, for waiting is not our forte.

So many things are . . . things like moving ahead, fixing what is wrong, planning what is next, diagnosing the problem, cramming more into one day than one person can possibly do before the sun goes down.

But waiting . . . when we are waiting for the light to shine, when we are waiting for the Word, when we are waiting for a wound to heal, nothing in all th world is harder than waiting.

So in your mercy, Lord, wait with us.

Be very present in waiting.  Heal our frenzy. Calm our fears. Comfort those who at this very minute are with every anxious breath and thought waiting for they know-not-what.

Transform our in-the-meantime into your time, while we wait with each other, sit with each other, pray each other into hope, surrounded by your presence, even in the darkness. Especially in the darkness.

Several of the group members remarked how important it was for them to find spaces "to wait on the know-on-what" especially as we all live in a world that we can neither control nor understand sometimes. Another group member said how much easier hopeful living becomes as "we wait with each other." 

My prayer that came from this meeting was: I hope I don't get so busy of seeking to solve problems that I miss out on God's vision for where I am right now.

As we wait this Lent, let us just stop and be in the moment. Sometimes the space of waiting comes to us as a gift to be cherished . . . if we are not hurrying up to get to the next thing.