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Saturday, 5 January 2013

Waiting for Godot

One of the news items on this morning's Today programme on BBC Radio 4, was that today is the 60th anniversary of the opening, in Paris, of Samuel Beckett's play "Waiting for Godot".  I confess to never having watched the play, either on stage or in the televised version.  However, there is a wealth of material available that allows us to grasp the basic plot - such as it is!

Every time I see the title of the play, I want to separate the last two letters of the last word, reverse them, and add an ellipsis.  This would give me the statement "Waiting for God to ...". 

In a 1994 interview, Beckett said that he regretted calling the absent character 'Godot', because of all the theories involving God to which this had given rise.  Of course, he wrote the original script in French and, as the French word for 'God' is 'Dieu' he would, had he wished to add a theological ingredient, have had to name the unseen character "Dieuot"!!

However, the central point about Godot is that he never appears.  The two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait patiently - but no Godot.  I am reminded of the words of Paul: "We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." (Rom 8:22-25).  Similarly, he writes to the Corinthian believers and commends them that they "... wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ; Who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Cor 1:7-8).  Writing to the young church in Thessalonica, he rejoices in the report he has received, that they have "... turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead, Jesus Who delivers us from the wrath to come." (I Thess 1:9-10).

As I read, hear, and watch, the daily news, I become increasingly convinced that we are living in momentous times.  I see Biblical prophecy being fulfilled before my very eyes.  I keep a close watch on the nation of Israel and, remembering that they are still the "apple of God's eye" (see Deut.32:10), I also watch the surrounding nations and the manner in which Israel is becoming increasingly isolated - in human terms.  And I am waiting for God to ... ...!  How He will intervene, I do not know.  Precisely when He will intervene, I do not know.  However, of His intervention, I have absolutely no doubt.  And so, whatever Beckett's characters do or, more accurately, fail to do, I am waiting for God to ...!

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