‘The faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.’


‘The faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.’

One of the many difficult things about this pandemic is the fact that we cannot meet up with all those we love and care for. Whether living around the corner or across the world, family members and friends are separated from one another. For those with access, and it is by no means everyone, there are opportunities to ‘see’ faces through Zoom, WattsApp, Skype and other means. The longing to reach into the screen to caress the face of a loved one, to hug and to be hugged is heart-felt. We are social beings created by God in relationship and for relationship. We yearn to be with people not simply to ‘see’ them or to hear their voice. 

In Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus recognises the pain of being separated from people we love. (John 14:15-21) Known as the Farewell Discourse, Jesus is speaking with his disciples, his friends, about the fact that soon he will no longer be with them.  But he promises that they will not be left alone for the Holy Spirit will come to abide with them. So it is that the followers of Jesus today are waiting and praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost whilst simultaneously recognising the Holy Spirit at work in our midst. 

In his poem, ‘East Coker’, TS Eliot writes that ‘…. the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting…..’  As we faithfully wait to see loved ones again, we recognise that God the Holy Spirit, alongside us in these difficult days, pours out comfort and gives wings to hope. God the Holy Spirit strengthens us in the love and the care that we offer others both near and far.

Earlier in the Farewell Discourse, we read:

‘I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’ (John 13:34)

May it be so.

Rev Canon Nikki Arthy


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