Whom do you seek?

Easter
Thank You

Dear Parishioner,

They came with torches, lanterns and weapons. He asked them, 

“Whom do you seek?”Jn 19:4.  They replied, “Jesus of Nazareth!”  Jn 19:5.  “I am he!”Jn 19:5.  They moved back and fell to the ground.  He asked them again and a third time, “Whom do you seek?” (RSV) Jn 19:6,7. Finally they seized him and bound him!  The arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.  The Christian life is a lifelong quest in answering this same question. Our challenge, our quest, our responsibility, is not to bind him and tie him up with our own notions, our own preconceived ideas of who Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Man, the Son of God is.  Our challenge is to allow Jesus show us who he is, his mission, and enable us to do the tasks he is charging us with, to bring about his Kingdom here on earth! 

So who are you looking for?  Sometimes, the who or what is not clear or obvious, until an experience, an encounter.  That’s what happened  to the woman from Samaria and the man born blind in John’s Gospel. And also to Martha, who already believed and already knew! 

The Samaritan woman arrives alone to get water.  But leaves, running back into her village, announcing she’s found the Messiah. No longer ostracised, no longer afraid, but free and full of life, full of living water and crying out to them all, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did; I wonder if he is the Christ?”Jn 4:29.  

The man born blind has his eyes opened and can see and from that very moment, he is confronted by people who reject his story, his new found sight. But he stands his ground and doggedly defends himself and the miracle (9:24-34).  And as he does so, he comes to an uncompromising awareness and spiritual enlightenment, of the one who healed him, the Son of Man. 

And he finally makes his ultimate declaration of faith that Jesus is the One Sent from God, the Son of Man and declares: “Lord, I believe” (9:38). “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Jn 9:35. The man replies,” “Tell me who he is so that I may believe in him!” Jn 9:36.

Martha is different!   She is a friend of Jesus and already believes: “Yes, Lord I believe that you are the Christ, The son of God, the one who was to come into this world!”  but Jesus has to take her further, to the next level of true belief and enlighten her further, to his true and ultimate identity. 

Our striving, our struggling to make sense of life, of senseless violence and conflict, of sickness, of suffering, of pain. Also Struggling to face up to the very difficult realities that life throws at us.  That’s when the tomb, the grave finds us. The place where death reigns, where death is stark and inescapable.  

But when we reach this tomb on this special morning, something is different!  Something has changed. Something incredible has happened, has occurred.  The earth trembles.  The heavenly hosts reveal their presence.  The Christian people, Churches shake with joy, with wonder, with love!  New life has broken free.  He has broken free, broken free of those chains. He has started a fire of love and death and sin have been conquered, defeated.  He has set us free!  This moment sets us apart from all other peoples, all other believers.  He has saved us, redeemed us! 

Jesus has risen and the future has burst into the present.  He is the new creation, and with him the resurrection, has come forward from the end of time into the here and now. 

Jesus ‘the Resurrection and the life,’ has come from God’s future into the present, into the turmoil and upheaval of the world.  Resurrection’ isn’t just a doctrine. It isn’t just a future fact.  It’s a person, it’s Jesus! and he is standing in front of the Samaritan woman, in front of the man born blind, in front of Martha, and every single one of us, challenging us all to make the huge jump of trust and hope.  

Death, War, violence, exploitation, human trafficking do not rule! They don’t have the last word! Jesus has risen and we his followers have been saved and he has given us the power, the example, the love, to conquer death, to conquer war and violence and exploitation! The tomb is empty.  He is not there.  We are not there! 

Whom do you seek?”Jn 19:4.  

Jesus of Nazareth, Risen from the dead!”  

On this Glorious Easter Morning, we celebrate and basque in awe and overwhelming joy that the tomb is empty because it could not hold the Risen Lord!  Allow the Light of the Risen Christ shine brightly and dazingly into your life, into our world! Let our celebration this most special morning fill you with Easter joy, fill you with His love that has triumphed and now reigns forever. Pain and Suffering are no more! 

We are his heralds, his messengers, bringing his risen life into the world to those very places where violence and war live but do not reign, do not win because Jesus has risen from the dead conquered it all!

Yes, Lord, it is you that I seek! Hide not your face!  You have risen from the dead! 

Come to me and live in me!
Alleluia Alleluia!!!

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Holy Spirit Evening

Join us for an Evening exploring Who the Holy Spirit is, the difference the Holy Spirit makes and How to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

We will gather in the Benet Bar of the Parish Centre at 7pm.

Get in touch with Daniel Ferguson if you would like to know more – formation@ealingabbey.org.uk

Thursday 25th April 7pm in the Benet Bar 

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