St Mary's Uttoxeter


1 Oct 2023 • Articles

Dear Friends,

Whilst we were away these last couple of weeks, as we were queuing up on the ferry waiting for the restaurant to open, I commented to Janet on how we British like queuing up, waiting patiently to take our turn, that after a couple barged in front of others, not willing to wait with no regard to those who’d been waiting patiently! How rude I thought!

And it’s about waiting and the quality of our waiting that sprung to mind. We are in October already, and, no doubt like me you’ve seen or heard of lots of things to do in preparation for Christmas, In September I saw Christmas parties at pubs being advertised, tickets going on sale for Christmas concerts. We’ve become accustomed to planning and getting things done as quickly as possible, not being prepared to wait and appreciate a time to reflect, before moving on to the next thing to occupy our lives. 

But we do spend an awful lot of time waiting, in our cars at traffic lights, on train stations, in doctor’s surgeries, waiting for an all-important call for an operation, or treatment, for babies to be born, for the post to arrive, for the kettle to boil. You get the general idea! But it’s in the quality of our waiting that matters. Are you impatient, excited, full of dread, or at peace with yourself and the world. How do you cope with waiting?

October, seems to be an in between month, a time of waiting. Summer has all but passed and Autumn is with us, and yes there are those preparations with Christmas on the horizon. All this while I look in my diary noting, things for this month such as some harvests still to take place; Janet waiting patiently for her new hip replacement operation; a couple waiting patiently for their wedding; a number of All Soul’s services taking place right at the end of the month with the opportunity to reflect on loved ones gone to glory. Things waiting to be done or to happen.

But there is a quality in this month of October of patiently looking back at the fast-receding year and waiting for the next months of remembrance and the joy and excitement of Christmas. But also waiting for the unravelling of what the future may hold for us in the Uttoxeter Area of churches.

As Christians we are to be encouraged in our waiting and we have times in the church’s year to help us to reflect and wait patiently on the Lord, like in Lent and Advent.

So, what do you do to cope with the waiting times, do you sit idly waiting for the time to pass or do you plan and occupy your time with activities in preparation, or a mixture of ‘being and doing’.

The psalms teach us a lot about ‘being and doing’ in our following God and of how we are all held in his time and keeping and of being patient in times of waiting on him. They help us to cope and to trust that in God all will be well.

Psalm 27 ends like this ‘I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage, wait for the Lord.’

Blessings, Charles