Thought for the Day : Wednesday 14 April

Thought for the Day by Tim Ward (St Chad’s)

Readings: John 20:19-31 and Deuteronomy 3:18-end

“Life so full I give to you
As the father sends me so I send you
Spread my light throughout all life
Peace be with you”

These words conclude Adrian Snell’s Passion, his musical setting of the Easter Story.  Yesterday we heard from Clive Barrett how Mary Magdalene becomes the custodian of the Christian story and, in the words of Adrian Snell proclaim:-

“Brothers I have seen the Lord
I have seen a new day rise….”

Yet, the risen Christ she sees does not come onto the stage with a roll of drums,  and plenty of dry-ice.   He greets Mary Magdalen with her name “Mary” and entrusts her with the knowledge and joy of the resurrection. He walks with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. He answers Thomas’s doubts. Seeing the empty tomb and folded grave clothes helps the “Beloved Disciple” to believe’. On the other hand, as tomorrow’s reading will show, Jesus takes time by a charcoal fire to help Peter through his issues and guilt.

Thus, these personal encounters with the risen Jesus, are not for show: not an end, but a beginning.  They are not removing his disciples backstage but placing them  central to the plot, bringing life to the drama of world.  As John writes of his purpose in writing his gospel:

“But these things have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that through your faith in him you may have life.”

In her Thought For The Day for Monday, Jan Betts reminded us of some earthly realities and tragedies, including the treatment of Alex Navalny in Russia, and of the protesters in Myanamar.  The world remains hard. Yet it is our concern. One way of engagement is through prayer. However, God’s turning down of Moses in the reading from Deuteronomy shows us this is not always easy, or sufficient.

It is not therefore about prayer alone we shape the drama.  Jesus comes us to individually, and urges to act collectively, as disciples, as the Church.  He knows the world is painful and gives us no magic wands. He does not though leave us alone.  It is comforting to remember Jesus’s words to the disciples

“Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you”

“Life so full I give to you
As the father sends me so I send you
Spread my light throughout all life
Peace be with you”

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