You are here14th May 2020

14th May 2020

By Alison Hudson - Posted on 14 May 2020

It’s Bank Holiday weekend and the sun is shining (well, it was when I wrote this). A street party to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, a walk in the park, trip to the beach, or a family meal might have been planned under different circumstances. But for now we are still being urged to stay at home and await the next government briefing. So our homes have become much more familiar places to us. Some of us of course are homebound for other reasons and for longer durations and there is far more awareness now of what that feels like.

Today’s gospel reading contains some very familiar words from Jesus and is my preferred choice when taking a funeral because I love the imagery of the house with many rooms that He uses to explain to the disciples that they will have a place prepared for them in heaven. 

Over the past 6 weeks of lockdown I would like to say I have been into every room in my house and decluttered and tidied it – but I haven’t! For me the draw into the garden is far greater and is my place of peace and prayer. It’s my sanctuary away from the worries of the world.

Jesus words to the disciples, ‘do not let your hearts be troubled’ were not spoken on a sunny Bank Holiday weekend when all was well in the world. This was the night Jesus was to be betrayed, the night before he was to be crucified, and he wanted to reassure the disciples once more that alongside the sorrow of his parting, they had the hope of resurrection. He was going before them, leading the way, and preparing for their ultimate homecoming.

Loss of any kind is a difficult journey to travel, even more so when it involves bereavement, yet we are accompanied by the One who wept at the grave of his friend Lazarus, who said ‘do not let your hearts be troubled’. This doesn’t mean that we should not be sad, because sadness is a very real and valid human emotion. Of course

we grieve when we lose someone who is dear to us, or lose our independence, financial security, or our sense of peace. But what we should not be troubled about is what lies beyond the grave. 

The death toll through Covid-19 is heart-breaking and our prayers are with those most deeply affected. Yet we have a message to proclaim to our community around us that we believe in a God of love, whose desire it is that all should know the certainty of His love, particularly in this fragile and turbulent world. We believe in a God who sent his only Son to live among us, who broke the chains of death and was resurrected to eternal life.

Jesus has gone before us, but leaves us with His promise that all who believe in Him will share in His eternal life. How do we know the way to claim this promise for ourselves? Jesus said ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’ This is His promise and the foundation of our faith, so let not our hearts be troubled and let us follow the One who knows the beginning from the end, who holds each one of us in the palm of His hand and journeys through life with us. Amen. Alison Hudson