Church of England Diocese of Oxford Hook Norton with Great Rollright and Swerford

Thoughts for Sunday 19th April…written by the rector, Janet Faull

17 Apr 2020, 12:15 a.m.
Thoughts_for_Sunday_19.4.2020_JF_JNRFOiI.pdf Download

Thoughts for Sunday 19th April…written by the rector, Janet Faull

John 20:19 – end / Acts 2.14a, 22-32

What a difference a page turn can make! Today’s story from the Gospel of John begins with the disciples huddled together, in lockdown, [for fear of reprisals following the death and resurrection of Jesus,] with a doubting Thomas who will not believe until he meets in person the risen Christ. However, turning one page of my Bible, I read in the Book of Acts the renewed confidence of Peter who stands and proclaims: ‘This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses.’

What a difference a day can make! Jesus has entered the room where the disciples are hidden and breathing his Holy Spirit on them he has given his friends new hope and renewed joy. This is a ‘holy’ breathing out that brings life and courage, it’s so different to the breathing out of the virus, which is not of God, that is sadly causing so much illness, death, pain and grief.

A different page, a different day…how will another different week to all that we before would have thought normal, bring assurance to your faith as it did to that of Thomas? This Sunday is often known as ‘Low Sunday’ a restful Sunday after all the high jollity and festivity of Easter, but don’t let your faith flatten, know the difference Jesus can make as you continue to receive his life, his peace, his forgiveness, his presence and the breath of his Holy Spirit! I encourage you to continue to read, scroll on Facebook, praise, pray and contemplate on all that is found in the words and promise of Jesus. Share it with whoever you live with or with someone you phone or write to.

Mark these words written in 389AD by Gregory of Nazianzus:

Yesterday I was crucified with Christ;

today I am glorified with him.

Yesterday I was dead with Christ;

today I am sharing in his resurrection.

Yesterday I was buried with him;

today I am waking with him from the sleep of death.

Pray…

• that your faith may blossom with the difference of each new day and as a result of different daily patterns and renewed habits of praying, studying and worshipping at home.

• that through your witness in your home, or through your other ways of sharing your excitement of faith, that people might give Godly things a try and find new life and the Spirit’s breath.

• for those who’s days are long, repetitive and rarely different, due to work schedules, loneliness or illness…may Jesus make a difference to their lives.