July Letter from The Ministry Team
Associate Revd Trish Cope writes
As I write this letter, we have just had confirmation that Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown has been postponed until July 19th. This was not unexpected and means that we must wait patiently for a further 4 weeks. The need for us all to be patient for a little while longer has been a message that has been associated with the last 15 months or so as we have moved from one lock-down to another and eased our way between “Tiers”. However, the Prime Minister assures us that by the 19th July – “terminus day” - we will have reached the end of the need for patience with Covid 19 restrictions.
Nevertheless, patience will still be needed in many aspects of our daily life.
The quality or virtue of patience displays forbearance or endurance. In the former sense it is a quality of self-restraint, even in the face of
provocation. Being patient means that we are able to accept or tolerate delays, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious; that we are able to avoid sudden noisy or aggressive reactions; that we can manage our immediate emotional responses. Patience also enables us to wait, without frustration, for things to improve; to wait expectantly and with hope whilst being realistic. Patience is important in relationships and situations throughout life.
There are lots of sayings and proverbs about patience – perhaps the most well-known one is:
“Patience is a virtue, Possess it if you can, Seldom found in woman,
Never found in man.”
This expression was first included in “Piers Plowman”, a narrative poem believed to have been written by William Langland between 1360 and 1387.
Given this rather gloomy outlook, I searched the internet (not for long as I am not very patient!) for ways to acquire or improve patience and was told:
Here are four ways to be the patient person you never thought you could be.
Make Yourself Wait. The best way to practice patience is to make yourself wait.
Stop Doing Things That Aren't Important.
Be Mindful of the Things Making You Impatient.
Relax and Take Deep Breaths.
If only it were that easy!!
Patience is an essential Christian virtue – though not all Christians (men or women) possess it and certainly not in abundance – and I am definitely one of those!
The Bible refers frequently to patience in the Psalms, the Prophets, the Gospels and the Epistles. There are good examples of those who do possess it in abundance in the Bible such as Job (in the Old Testament) who patiently suffered multiple afflictions and is remembered in the saying “S/he has the patience of Job”. In the New Testament Simeon waited patiently for the promise of the Lord that he would see the salvation of Israel. Luke 2: 25-38. And Jesus himself showed patience with his disciples, waiting for them to understand better the nature of God’s Kingdom:
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say,
“Show us the Father?”” John 14: 9
Nevertheless, patience was obviously in short supply in the early
Christian church because St Paul, writing to early Christians, had to
advise them about it many times! One of the most well-known references to patience is in Paul’s description of love in his first letter to the Corinthians:
“Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; it is not arrogant.” Corinthians 13:4
As we strive to reflect the image of God’s love within us, the words of St Paul to another group of early Christians may strengthen and guide our resolve:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
For prayer chain requests please email our Reader, Christ Stanisstreet at : firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are lonely or finding life difficult and would like to talk to someone please telephone one of the ministry team whose contact details are the contacts page of this website. All conversations are in strict confidence.