St Thomas Blog

Passion Sunday - Lent V

Sunday 29th March 2020
Rev Charles Keay

Listen to Rev Charles' reflections on enduring love this week and how he links it to the very challenging times in which we all find ourselves living. If you prefer, you can read his thoughts below.

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Reflection - Lent V
John 11:1-45

The Gospel for this Sunday is a lengthy one, St John Chapter 11 verses 1- 45 and recounts how Jesus brings Lazarus back from the dead.

But what can this passage say to us at this particular time? Well, I wonder if Jesus offers some words of hope when he says: 'I am the Resurrection and the Life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die'.

These are words that somewhat baffled me for a time. How can those who die still be alive? It all sounds completely illogical - some strange philosophical construct that makes no sense at all - but yet I began to gain an inkling of what it was that perhaps Jesus was trying to say, especially when I was bereaved myself.

I began to realise that when someone close to me died that there was one thing that hadn't changed at all. What they meant to me. I still loved them just as much as when they were here with me even though they were gone from my sight. They still live on, if you will, in my heart and in my memories, because I love them.

I believe that is essentially what Jesus meant - that God loves us, he loves us from our very beginning, throughout our lives and when it is over throughout eternity because God is love and his love is eternal. In other words, regardless of our physical state, we are loved and so we continue on, held in those bonds of love throughout life and throughout eternity.

While all may pass away there is one thing that endures then, and that is love. As St Paul writes in his First Letter to the Corinthians about love: 'It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.'
God's love binds us together with him throughout all eternity just as the love we share with, well, our loved ones binds us together with them. It remains, it endures regardless of whether we are in this world or the next
In these strange times, I believe that is evident. Even in the grip of this Coronavirus pandemic, even as we lose things that are dear to us, whatever they may be, what are we seeing all around us? On the whole, I would want to say, love. Even in our increasingly isolated state love cannot be contained - we as humanity are still expressing love by finding ways to reach out to those around us, to extend the hand of friendship and companionship even if only metaphorically speaking, to offer what practical help we can to friends and strangers alike and let us not forget the selfless giving of all those on the frontline, combatting this virus in their various ways.

God's love for us, and our love too, continues - and even such tumultuous times as these seemingly cannot overcome it.

Let us give thanks for the love which is evident every day in so many different ways, for the love God shows us in the gift of His Son, who entered into our world and lived amongst us as we do and indeed let us pray for each other throughout this time.