Death is not the end

Over the past week the news coming at us about this pandemic has worsened by the day, and now we are all hunkered down in our homes, trying to keep as safe and well as possible.  We do this of course, not only for ourselves, but out of care for others in our community, our nation and the world.  Like me, you have probably been watching with horror the unfolding tragedy in countries like Spain and Italy, and we pray for them today, but it is also horrifying to see the complete selfishness and lack of concern for others that has resulted in people hoarding food and supplies to the detriment of others.  

Sadly, as we follow Government regulations, our Church is now entirely closed, even for private prayer.  The word ‘unprecedented’ has been very overworked lately.  We hear it constantly in the media, and yet it’s hard to find a better word to describe this current situation.  So, as we face this unprecedented situation as the dispersed parish of All Saints, we will work together on new and different ways to worship and to care for one another.  We are working hard to get across the tech issues to that we can bring Sunday Mass to you online (hopefully this Sunday), as well as a sermon podcast.  Morning Prayer or the Daily Office) is now set up via a Zoom video meeting room. I will resend the meeting invitation with this e-news.  If you would like to join us at 8am each weekday morning, just click on the link and follow the directions.  You are most welcome to join us in your PJs!

On this fifth Sunday in Lent, we read Jesus’ proclamation ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’  In this Gospel reading, Jesus brings light into the lives of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, when he calls Lazarus back from the dead.

Death is confronting, whether our own or those we love, and as this virus has confronted us with our mortality over the past few months, we have become very afraid.  We see and hear that fear in Martha’s words as she first calls desperately for Jesus to come and heal her brother, and then confronts him with his death.  And yet we see here that the life Jesus brings isn’t an avoidance of death, it’s a resurrection that defeats the fear and hopelessness that death brings, and offers life in abundance.  Jesus’ statement reminds us that death is not the whole story, and that instead we are invited into a resurrection that’s not only about hope for the future but about abundant, spirit-filled life here and now. 

I am reminded of the Nick Cave song from the Murder Ballads Death is not the End
And all that you held sacred
falls down and does not mend
Just remember that death is not the end
Not the end, not the end.

In peace, Mother Lynda
Gospel reading:  John 11:1-45