You + Me + Jesus WAITING at the Gravesite of Hope: Intro to a Lenten Journey through the Gospel of Luke

I have a suspicion: We’re all waiting—waiting for something, or perhaps for someone. Maybe it’s for a job promotion or clarity on what career path to take. We could be antsy for our hip to heal or desperate for our youngest to get out of diapers or our oldest to make it through puberty in one piece. Perhaps we’re waiting for the day we finally get to parent. We wait for love. We wait for purpose. We wait to shed fifteen pounds, to have a true best friend, to get affirmation from our dad. We wait.

Here’s a confession: I don’t like to wait. Some days waiting is a minor irritation; other times it’s a subterranean reservoir of rage.

But what if there were gifts in the waiting? What if this desert of waiting contained beauty and necessary nutrients for the terrain beyond?

I want to be grateful for the waiting, but here’s another confession: I’m not. Not yet. But I’m up for the journey that leads to gratitude, and I’d love for you to join me.

INVITATION: During this Lenten season, let’s look at Jesus’ story and zoom into the scenes when he found himself waiting—for his call to be revealed and received, to be known, to have a home, to nurture, to die, to resurrect. And let’s see if there’s anything in Jesus’ journey of waiting that can give insight—and ultimately hope—to our wait.

6-WEEK WAITING PLAN: Each week during Lent, I’ll post a reading from the book of Luke (an historical accounting of Jesus’ life) that spotlights a time when Jesus found himself waiting. I’ll also include personal reflection questions focused on the intersections between Jesus’ story and ours. I’d love to find out what you’re discovering, so please post your insights. It also may be great to do this with a friend, meeting once a week to banter, grapple, and pray.

STARTING LINE REFLECTION: What are you waiting for? What questions do you ask about God—or assumptions do you make—when you’re waiting for something important to you? What questions do you ask of yourself? Are there any unhelpful assumptions you make about yourself or others when waiting starts to shatter your hope?

The journey of Lent always begins with confession, with the invitation to express our sorrow for ways we’ve missed God and our need for more of his grace. If you dare, take some time today to be candid with God and see what comes of that.

YET ANOTHER CONFESSION: I have often doubted God’s goodness in my waiting. I have assumed He’s holding out on me. And so, I’ve felt like a victim. I’ve felt I’ve had to live a lesser story than I want, than I deserve, than what others get. Victim. Victim. Victim.

And yet I know that’s no way to wait. It’s no way to live.

When I pull back from my assumptions, I find myself asking three questions:

  1. Is the waiting worth it? Do I have cause for hope?
  2. Am I alone in the waiting? Do I have community?
  3. What should I be doing in the waiting? Do I have guidance?

These are my questions as I wait. Perhaps yours are different. But let’s see how Jesus’ life can speak into our deepest longings as we wait…and as we hope.

MY PRAYER: My prayer is that you and I will not only find renewed strength and hope in our waiting, but that ultimately we’ll get to know Jesus more truly and deeply and experience more of his love en route. Cheers to that!

Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.  Isaiah 40:31