Weekly Reflection – Asking the Right Question

10 May 2024

Keys, phones, purses, wallets, those few coins for the parking meter or the shop, the vital bit of paper … We’ll all have had that experience of losing something and looking high and low for it. In our house this is usually accompanied by the unhelpful question, ‘Well where did you last have it?’

This time of the church’s year is where we remember that Jesus had died and rose from the dead, but then after forty days went away from the earth and is no longer physically present in our world. And this can leave us wondering – where is he? What exactly is he doing? What exactly does he look like? When is he coming back?

When you’re complaining to someone that you’ve lost your keys or phone or whatever, perhaps the best thing they can ask is not ‘where did you last have it?’ but ‘can I help you find it?’ Maybe in the same way we’re not asking the most helpful question about Jesus. Wondering about where exactly he is and what exactly he looks like is totally understandable; but whereas we might just remember where we left the missing item, we’ll never really know where the Lord has gone and what he is doing there.

This means that, as we think about Jesus who died and rose again from the dead and now is no longer with us physically, a better question might be ‘How can I find Jesus here and now?’ Now, we can meet Jesus in all sorts of ways and times and places, seeing him in art or music, the view from a hilltop or the peace of a holy building, a chance encounter with a stranger or the kindness of friends. But the Lord has told us that he is always to be found in the words of the scriptures (especially the gospels which are the inspired accounts of his life) and in the community of his followers in the church (especially in the sharing of the bread and wine in the special act of communion he gave us).

So as we swerve from the kind of questions which are tempting but frustrating, why not make a fresh effort to meet the Lord in the places he tells us he can be found? Read one of the gospels (you can do the shortest, Mark, in about twenty minutes). Come along to our spring study sessions on Wednesdays 15th and 22nd May at 7pm in Treacy Hall. Make a special effort to get to a communion service this coming Sunday or one day in the week. The Lord has left us physically. We cannot meet him, as we can meet each other, in the cathedral or a coffee shop, a kitchen or a bus queue. But he has not left us without ways to find him, if only we start looking in the right places.

With prayers and best wishes,

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Wakefield Cathedral

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