Church of England Diocese of Leeds St. John the Evangelist Hipswell

'Resilience' - emerging from traumatic life experiences: the impact of 'resolve': Sermon 5 of 6

Welcome to St Cuthbert's, Colburn, for this the fifth of a 6-sermon series reflecting on how we might understand, and grow in, resilience, as we emerge from the worst of the current Covid-19 pandemic. 

Drawing on Australian author and theologian Meg Warner's recently-published book, 'Joseph', we explore certain factors - revealed by recent research - which appear to indicate that some individuals may have a greater propensity for developing resilient behaviour than others. Joseph, the Old Testament character, whose life story is recorded in Genesis, is a complex individual. His ability to emerge, repeatedly, from traumatic life events, is legendary. How much of that, though, is due to his innate entrepreneurial flair, and how much to the hand of YHWH (the God of his forebears) on his life, is a matter of ongoing debate. This week, we examine the concept of 'Resolve' - how making certain decisions and sticking with them - helps us to 'move on' and to grow resilience. For people of Faith, the transcendent reality of God's unconditional love and presence - especially during times of greatest trauma - provides both a vital back-drop and great encouragement to endure. Jesus' endurance in the face of provocation, torture and execution, provides inspiration and great strength for those who choose to follow him. 

So how important is resilience? How might we got about developing it? How do we ensure that our focus remains on Jesus Christ, rather than simply on 'bounce back', as a goal in its own right?