Weekly Reflection – Life Beyond Life

29 March 2024

We have travelled through Lent this year in a world where millions continue to live amidst violence, oppression and need. The headline roll call is familiar: Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan. And underneath the headlines, so many other places. We struggle to find God in such situations, to discern any divine purpose amongst the chaos. This is not a new struggle. In sixteenth century Galilee, Rabbi Isaac Luria was asked by his followers to help them understand why the world was so full of unhealed pain: of hatred, hunger and war. Rabbi Luria taught about a legend from the time of God’s creation of the world. When first setting out to create the world, God had planned to put a holy light into everything to make it real. God prepared glass containers to contain the light. But God’s light was so bright that the vessels burst and shattered, leaving only millions of fragments. For the followers of Rabbi Luria, it was human beings’ failure to repair this cosmic heap of broken pieces that led to the continuation of the pain they saw all around them in a world whose wounds remained unhealed.

As followers of Jesus, we glimpse a different way: the way of his agonising crucifixion and glorious resurrection. We realise that, in the end, the world cannot be healed through our own efforts, important though they are. We must, instead, journey in faith, and together, through the Good Friday of this present age and beyond into the resurrection life of God’s eternal Eastertide. Then at last, in a world that is finally healed, we will understand the full meaning of Jesus’s words to the Passover pilgrims in Jerusalem in the final week of his life:  I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. This is the crucified, risen and ascended Christ whom we joyfully proclaim this and every day. Thanks be to God!

With love and prayers for this Easter and beyond.
Dean Simon

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