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3 December 2016

Saturday 3 December

[Matthew 26: 36-46]

Waiting in Solidarity

All my life – from the age of twelve till now - I have had many occasions to watch, and wait with people in challenging times - sitting, often in silence, praying and watching. As I did when my mother was having a miscarriage; eight years later as she was lying on a hospital trolley with life threatening wounds inflicted by someone who was mentally ill; and twenty years later, watching and waiting in Trinity Hospice as she was dying from throat cancer. I have also watched other people lying ill in hospitals and at home; mourning the loss of a loved one; waiting for test results; some in prison, or struggling with difficult family relationships. Waiting in solidarity with others is part of a Christian’s life; and of every member of our human family.

Because throughout human history, God has accompanied his people through pain and suffering. He is a God of mercy, steadfast love, and faithfulness who will never leave us. The pain and the trouble may not go away immediately or at all until we are with him in Glory, but he walks with us and we are forever “in the palms of his hands” (Isaiah 49: 16). Jesus Christ who went to the limits and died for us, assures us that “he is with us to the end of the age” (Matthew 28: 20).

So let us not run away when we come face to face with friends who are suffering. We don’t have to solve their problems, but may we offer our loving company to our brothers and sisters in Christ and all in his suffering world.

 

For further reflection, please read Tom Wright – Advent for Everyone, A Journey Through Matthew, pages 27-31