During this difficult time when it is not possible for us to meet, Stephen has provided us with some readings, a prayer and some notes for the week.
Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 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’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”
your wounds declare your love for the world
and the wonder of your risen life:
give us compassion and courage
to risk ourselves for those we serve,
to the glory of God the Father. Amen
At this time in our nation’s history with the experience of Covid 19, many people have had thoughts about death.
Sadly, some people have experienced the tragedy of the death of a loved one.
Other people have come near to their own mortality yet have recovered thanks to the dedication and skill of those who work in our wonderful NHS.
Many others have lived with fear and anxiety caused by a virus that knows no boundaries, and about which we have limited knowledge and no experience.
If there is one thing that the Easter message has to say, it is that Jesus went through the experience of death and lives beyond it.
Christianity should never be afraid of mentioning that word ‘death’ because we believe that it is the in the death and resurrection of Jesus that our hope is founded.
In our reading, Jesus says, “I am going before you and will come again to take you to myself.” It is hard to think of how he could be more explicit.
We don’t know how it will happen or what it will be like. We only know of a God that loves us so much that Jesus died for us.