During Holy Week I wonder whether you were like me and found it easier to focus on either Good Friday or Easter Sunday, rather than on Easter Saturday. I know I’m not necessarily a very patient person and would like to press on to the next thing ahead. But actually there is something very powerful in that waiting time, it is a time where we can either deepen our trust in God or become frustrated and impatient.
Our lives are full of these moments of death, waiting and then resurrection, times when we have to wait on the threshold of something new. If you think about major events in our lives they all follow that pattern, for example getting married involves ‘death’ of your single way of life, the waiting and anticipation of the wedding day, and then the new life together. I had a period of three weeks between my last parish and moving to this one, during which I was writing some of my dissertation. It was hard to concentrate because I was having to let go of what had gone before, a type of grieving, without knowing what the next phase would be really like. In that waiting period in the middle I think there are two temptations – one is to go back to the familiar and well trodden path, and the other is to rush ahead, and I moved between them both.
But one of my favourite phrases is that ‘God is large and in charge.’ I think that those three weeks of waiting were a key reminder for me that God had it all under control. He knew what he was doing and all I had to do was to trust Him. It was a time when I felt very uncomfortable but I knew the best option was to keep trusting and to sink my roots down into God even deeper. The way I did this was by asking for his help and being real about how it felt. I also made a conscious daily choice as I read the bible to sit with one verse each day and allow the truth of it to go deep.
I also had the opportunity to do a creative picture at a prayer day that I attended during those three weeks. We were encouraged to put any verses that were important to us on the picture as well as images from magazines and artwork. My verse was ‘Be Strong and courageous, the Lord your God will go with you wherever you go’ from Joshua. I also used plenty of colour in my picture as I had a strong sense that coming to All Saints was going to be about living life in full colour.
Now I am a month into my time here at All Saints and I have such a sense of God’s leading and presence. It feels such a privilege to be part of the parish, to see the diversity of people and gifts, and how God weaves us all together. It really feels like life in full colour.
Revd Pippa Ford (Curate at All Saints’)