St John the evangelist
in the heart
of the surrey hills
for week beginning November 30th
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12 verse 12 ESV
I was reminded of this verse as I looked at a Bible Society calendar for next year. And what a timely reminder it was.
Advent, the season we are just beginning, is all about a future hope. Hope gives us a reason to rejoice. We could do with a reason to rejoice at the moment. God’s faithfulness is placed soundly in front of us as we remember the promises Christ made concerning His return, a reminder that we are not left bereft, but we can look forward to fulfilling our eternal destiny.
The pandemic has brought us a great deal of tribulation, and many have suffered much more than us, however the issue this verse addresses is not the degree to which we have faced tribulation, so much as how we have faced and dealt with such tribulation as has come our way. Patience is never easy, it goes against our nature even when it would be to our advantage to wait. But if we are able to cultivate it, it is a virtue that will give perspective in difficult times. This week as we move from national lockdown, to the tiered system and all its local implications may we discover the benefits of patience in times of tribulation.
The thing that will cement our hope and enable patience is prayer, and St Paul advises constancy in that. If we are tempted to wonder about why we might feel without hope, or are frustrated at our circumstances, maybe we need to look at our prayer life. That might give us an indicator, and also point the way forward.
Heavenly Father, thank you that you promise us a future and a hope, give us patience in all circumstances; may we learn to seek you in prayer day by day. Amen