Greetings to you all in the name of Christ!
As we delve into the Gospel of John in this Easter Season, we often hear about abiding and dwelling as this week’s Gospel message reveals. Abiding and dwelling are interesting spiritual words that bring to our minds: togetherness, understanding, like-mindedness – as starters
I would like to go back to the Old Testament story of Joseph (Genesis 37-45) There was no ‘you abide in me and I in you’ in this story nor was there like-mindedness in the family of Joseph – but there was jealousy and lies. Joseph gets thrown in the ditch, his coat used as a cover up and ultimately Joseph is sold off to the Egyptians. – in all these situations, Joseph was a captive.
Lo and behold, years later there was a terrible famine in the land and the family of Joseph had to go to Egypt to find food. And then the climax of the story – Joseph’s brother see him and are afraid. But there is no retribution from Joseph
Only concern, after testing their humanity. God does good in terrible circumstances. History has proved that. Joseph says to his brothers, ‘do not be afraid’ and eventually Joseph eloquently forgives his brothers when he reveals himself to them “…for God sent me before you to preserve life…” (Genesis 45:5) God provides even when horrible things are done. Through the famine that Egypt and all the earth endured, and the concern for his family’s welfare Joseph saw his role as “preserving a numerous people”
We are captive to this virus. We are sheltering for our wellbeing and the well being of others. But even so, God is doing good.
Who would have ever thought we would become competent and dependent on the new ways of technology like ZOOM and phone conferencing?
Who would have ever thought that a virus has given us time to do something we’ve wanted to do for a long time…
We are communicating more and having concern more about our neighbours and family and friends. Could this be what abiding means?
The hands and feet of Jesus are in action proving food, delivering food, picking up medications. Chatting on porches and through windows.
It is carrying a cross in one hand and a food carrier in the other!
God is doing good in the midst of this lockdown and we are privileged participants in his glory and his love. We do this with others to preserve life.
Be safe. Be strong, Be wise. Be blessed.
Rev Kate Johnson