Scene from a sketch ‘The Pearly Gate Report’ on Easter Day
This lent we explore the theme of journeying – but instead of considering the journey from one place to another place, we consider the journey from one time to another time. This journeying is often described with the very ordinary word “waiting”.
In her recent book Those Who Wait, Tanya Marlow invites readers to put down distractions and ‘lean in’ to the discomfort of waiting. At Didcot, we have taken some inspiration from her book this lent, as we have considered the many sides of waiting. We invite you to join us in grappling with it, and to invite God to meet you there – for God is in our waiting.
The series will comprise four morning services and four evening services on the theme of waiting, leading up to and including Easter Day.
Recordings of these services are being made available on this website as soon as practical after each Sunday – scroll further down the page to access
Sunday 18th February 2018
10.30 am: Morning service (Esther Miller)
Waiting and promise
Sunday 25th February
10.30 am: Morning service (Stephen Atkinson)
“Should we wait for another?”
Sunday 4th March
6.30 pm: Holy Communion (Rev Katherine Pickering)
How to wait
Sunday 11th March
6.30 pm: Evening service (Frederick Obeng)
A mother’s wait
Sunday 18th March (Passion Sunday)
10.30 am: Morning service (Michael Howlett)
The God who waits
Sunday 25th March (Palm Sunday)
6.30 pm: Evening service (Barbara Sexton)
When the wait is over
Sunday 1st April (Easter Day)
10.30 am: Morning service (Liz Wood)
6.30 pm: Evening service (Esther Miller)
1. Waiting alone – John the Baptist finding his calling
“In many ways though, being different, being unique, is not the cause of loneliness. Rather, loneliness is a particular kind of discomfort we experience as we wait for ourselves to grow into maturity and also for the world around us to change for the better. We wait for our difference to grow into its proper shape and for our shape to be properly understood and appreciated.”
The service recording includes extracts reproduced with permission from Those who Wait, copyright 2017 by Tanya Marlow. Published by Malcolm Down Publishing Ltd.
2. Waiting and promise – Not losing sight of the present moment
“I can’t believe that anyone who can write a vision like John’s the Evangelist’s vision in Revelation simply has their eyes set on the future. You must be totally immersed in the present moment to be able to write like that. He has not deserted the present. He is in the present. And God is in the present with him.”
3. “Should we wait for another?” – What kind of God are we waiting for?
“Jesus so radically shook people’s expectations of God coming among them, it was no wonder that they found it hard to accept him. And some people didn’t.”
4. How we wait – Remaining in relationship with God
“Let us use the gifts and potential that God has given to us – in our community, in our workplaces, in our homes. Wherever the Lord puts us, let us use his gifts. And let us remain in relationship with God, because it is through this relationship that our expectation, our waiting, will be sustained.”
Unfortunately there was a mishap with Frederick’s microphone, so the sermon isn’t as clear we would like and we don’t have a recording of the final part of the service. A transcript of his sermon will be made available in due course.
5. A mother’s wait – Conversations with mothers from Didcot Methodist Church about scenes from Jesus life
“I think, it’s good to be in the house of God. When [Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection] happened and all this went on, they didn’t left each other. They all gathered together, as the Bible says, ‘all of them came together with one accord.’ And they didn’t stop praying; they kept constantly praying. So I think we don’t have to stop praying.”
6. The God who waits – We are tenants of creation, but is God like an absentee landlord?
“Perhaps we need to remember what in our world, in our lives is really ours, to use or abuse as we choose. And what’s really not mine but is my responsibility to care for – because it’s been given in love for all to share and benefit from. And perhaps that’s what God is continually waiting for, for all people, everywhere to recognise.”
Unfortunately, this time, there was a mishap with the USB stick recording the service. The system said it was recording but then… didn’t record anything. This means our backup recording of the service isn’t as clear we would like it to be and we don’t have a recording of the final part.
7. What do we wait for now? – Recognising God’s acceptance and following his call
“It’s over, right? We’ve done it, we’re there, we’ve achieved it – it’s Easter after all. This is the end of waiting. But… what are we waiting for now? It turns out the answer is really simple and you already know it – but I’m going to say it anyway: we’re the people of God and we’re called to follow his way. So we wait for the call, the opportunity. And no matter how many calls or opportunities we’ve followed, there’s always another one.”
Liz’s sketch ‘The Pearly Gate Report’ can be downloaded here.
The music video for the song ‘Smile’ by Kirk Franklin can be found on YouTube:
8. The surprising end – Even with all his extravagant promises, God will still amaze us
“Even with all our waiting, and being patient, and enduring, and persisting, we can also have those moments of holiday. At Easter, we stop and bask in the knowledge that everything that needs to be done to defeat sin and death, has been done; and everything that we could not do ourselves, has been done for us. Because that is God’s goodness and love for us.”
You can download the mp3 files by right clicking and selecting “Save target as…”, “Download linked file…” or “Save link as…”
Some short sections of services may have been edited out and hymns have been removed from the recordings for copyright reasons.