Jesus loves each one of us, knowing and calling us by name. This prayer idea helps us to recognise and be grateful for this perfect love.
Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ two sisters had let Jesus know that their brother, Jesus friend, was ill. It was days later that Jesus set off to visit: “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died” – hardly words of welcome from Mary and Martha to Jesus, but understandable in the height of grief. Jesus was moved and understood their grief – as Jesus cared for the ten lepers, the man with the shrivelled hand, the blind man and indeed Lazarus, he cares for us too: although as with Lazarus, it may not be at a time we expect.
Some 795 million people – one in nine of all people on the planet – do not have enough food to live a healthy life: but of the haves vs have nots, one percent of the worlds population account for over half the worldy wealth. There’s a huge divide between human beings in a world God intended to be equal: do we choose not to notice the boundary of rich and poor?
Did you ever have an expanding suitcase? Where the clothes could go higher and higher, the lid come over and the racheting down would fit more and more into the case. God’s love for us and our understanding of this through the Holy Spirit is like that: as more and more understanding comes through the Spirit. Jesus last words and actions comforted the disciples in a way that only the Holy Spirit might help them understand: the love that God the Father has for Jesus is the love that Jesus has for each of us – and the Spirit helps us to realise and recognise that power in our lives.
Jesus shares all our fears, concerns, grief, and longings for physical healing, he feels these more deeply than we can image and shares all our emotional and spiritual pain.
It’s Good Friday. Today, we remember Jesus, and his journey to the cross. Pádraig Ó Tuama writes: “For me, Good Friday is the holiest day of the year. Not because of any worth in another brutal murder from another brutal occupying force. But because of the witness of a life lived with courage, even in the face of Roman torture. There are only two languages, Leunig says, love and fear.”