St Thomas Blog

Easter 5

Easter 5

Saturday 9th May 2020
Philip Baker, Lay Reader

Easter 5 10th May 2020

John 14.1-14

We are at a time when many are feeling hopeless. Will this virus ever be beaten? Will life ever get back to normal? There are people so totally isolated by the lockdown that they are finding it very difficult, particularly those of us who live alone. I am lucky in that I have, and am ready to use, modern technology to keep in regular contact with friends and colleagues. In fact, I speak by these means daily to some friends face to face that I might only see once or twice a week normally. But some do not have that luxury and they cannot get out to interact with friends and acquaintances as they would normally. As time goes on this isolation can only get worse for them. There are those who do not live alone but are experiencing rising tensions within their households due to being cooped up together and the frustrations of staying at home. Sadly we hear of increases in mental health issues for some and of increased incidents of domestic abuse.

In today's gospel Jesus promises his disciples that they have a future, that in his father's house there are many dwelling places. He is going to prepare a place for them. He also prepares a place for us. That is the promise of Easter, that death has been defeated, that through Christ we have the promise of everlasting life. But we have to endure the trials and tribulations of this world, whatever it throws at us, before we receive that gift, to be with Jesus through all eternity. Thomas asks Jesus what is the way to where he is going. Jesus simply answers that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the way to the Father. The way to that great love that cannot die.

So Jesus is our way through this time and through life. He is here with us now, as He is with us always. In the last verse of St Matthew's gospel, Jesus says to the disciples, 'And remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.' We are not alone. He suffers with us. He permeates this world, even this virus ridden world. We need to hang on to the great hope of Easter more than ever. I find this poem helpful.

'Lo, I am with you always'
By John Charles Earle

WIDE fields of corn along the valleys spread;
The rain and dews mature the swelling vine;
I see the Lord is multiplying bread;
I see Him turning water into wine;
I see Him working all the works divine
He wrought when Salemward His steps were led;
The selfsame miracles around Him shine;
He feeds the famished; He revives the dead;
He pours the flood of light on darkened eyes;
He chases tears, diseases, fiends away;
His throne is raised upon these orient skies;
His footstool is the pave whereon we pray.
Ah, tell me not of Christ in Paradise,
For He is all around us here to-day.

God Bless and keep safe.

Phil Baker