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Passion Sunday

John 11: 1 - 45 The Raising of Lazarus

This Sunday is Passion Sunday, the start of two weeks in which we enter more intensely into the suffering of Christ, leading to the joy and hope of Easter Day

In a carefully detailed narrative, today’s Gospel (read here) relates how Christ, six days before His own death, went to His dead friend Lazarus at Bethany outside of Jerusalem.

With epic simplicity the Gospel records that “Jesus wept” (John 11:35); He was greatly disturbed.

In this current time of pandemic, the weeping and distress we see across the world and in our own country may touch our own lives. As we live with lockdown, as we face uncertainty, we enter Jesus’ passion.

The word passion has its origin in the Latin pati: to suffer

Recently we have applauded medical staff for their passion in doing what they are called to do for the love of humanity whatever the cost to themselves. There will be many other examples – the government, scientists and researchers, the providers of our food chain; ‘from farm to fork’.

God so loved the world that, in the passion of Christ, He was prepared to suffer. The outworking of that passion was, and is, the hope and joy of Easter!

Whatever our situation as we read this – whether key worker or completely isolated – each of us can travel on this journey of hope by doing the right thing here and now.

And the greatest thing we can do to love our neighbours as ourselves is to stay at home, keep our distance, and thus play our part in the collective passion, which is the imperative to break the bondage of this virus.

As we move, spiritually together yet physically apart, towards Palm Sunday and Holy Week, May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.