Wait – Maundy Thursday
Just wait…wait here. Can you wait a minute, I’ll put you on hold. We’ll have to wait & see. It’s just a question of waiting.
We’re not very good at waiting
We’re naturally impatient,
We want to get on, to move to the next thing, to see progress, movement.
Heavy traffic can be bearable if we’re maybe just moving a little,
The status bar on the computer screen or phone, moves imperceptibly, and we let out a bit of the breath we’ve been holding.
Whether we’re waiting for news, or results, for the arrival of a loved one, a phone call, or just for the working day to end, waiting can seem hard and painful.
It feels static, but it is not really.
Time is moving on, the world does not pause as we do.
Tonight we remember Jesus and his disciples, they’ve eaten together, there’s a sense of expectation of anxiety in the air.
Some of the more activists disciples are probably wanting to confront the unknown ahead, they’re edgey and unsettled.
And Jesus takes them in to a garden and tells them to wait…
Wait here with me, stay with me, watch with me
And of course, they can’t just sit. They fall asleep. The classic way of passing what seems like dead waiting time –
Practically that’s difficult.
It’s the beginning of a long holiday weekend, there are things to do, visitors to welcome, food to cook, rooms to clean.
There are services to plan and execute,
Do we have time to stop and wait?
Jesus asked his disciples to wait, to stop planning
To stop worrying
To stop campaigning and thinking and second guessing
To stop and spend time, with him, in the quiet.
He knew as they only suspected that things would never be the same again,
That after tonight everything would change, everything would be different.
Waiting can be painful.
Living in the moment is not the carefree act of a child who is oblivious to things around them
Living in this moment often means living in the place of pain and grief,
Waiting means stopping where it’s not comfortable
It means living that pain and that discomfort – that’s what Jesus was doing
He prayed that it might pass, but he lived those moments as they came to him.
It was for him a learning place, a place to come to the knowledge and acceptance of God’s plan for him.
Waiting can be a learning place for us too. A place to trust, to pause, to accept.
It’s very easy during these next three days to try & rush on ahead.
It’s easy to live in the future – it’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.
We know what happens of course we do, that’s why we’re here!
Like watching a film where we’ve read the book we want to be able to say to the bemused and confused disciples –it’s ok really it is…
But for now, we need to wait,
We need to live these 2 or 3 days of grief and sadness, to allow the full weight of what God did to sink in,
To live without the knowledge of the light ahead.
When we wait in places of pain in our own lives, we cannot tell the outcome.
-some of you may have seen Songs of Praise and Justin Welbys moving account of his experience of waiting in prayer when his daughter was dying –
He describes how real the presence of Jesus felt to him at that time, even as he was told the answer than no parent ever wants to hear.
In the waiting in the place of pain he knew God’s comfort & presence, like never before.
We know the end of this story, but for now we wait in the uncomfortable place, and feel the darkness, and understand the separation felt by so many who feel no hope or no answer.
But in this pain and discomfort, we wait with Jesus, who has walked this road and felt this pain
And because we learn to wait here in the garden, and later at the cross with him in his pain & ours,
The dawn to come will be all the brighter.