John 11: 24-27 Martha said to Jesus, “I know that Lazarus will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
Martha says to Jesus in a wonderful declaration of her faith, “I believe that you are the messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” She says these words, speaking as it were through tears of grief, having just lost her dear brother Lazarus. She is willing, even in the face of her bereavement, to declare that Jesus is God’s Son and trust him with her future, her brother’s future, indeed the future of the whole world, past, present and yet to come.
At times of loss for us, physical or emotional, we too can turn to Jesus and trust that God has a plan for the world and that we are part of that, we can bring hope, faith and life to others.
In a few days’ time we will switch-on our church Christmas lights sadly with no ceremony this year due to Covid. I pray they will shine light into the darkness of this time bringing real hope, comfort and even faith.
May we, like Martha have the courage to shine a light onto the truth and help others to know that Jesus loves them too, that our Lord seeks to comfort them and offer them hope, to illumine their lives with faith.
Because Jesus who knows what it is to carry a heavy load, to suffer and to die, embraces us with love and brings us by his grace alone to the joy of God’s presence which is life everlasting, the kingdom of heaven.
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all life thou givest to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish but nought changeth thee.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.
Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908)
With Jesus, our perspective on life has a new gleaming horizon, a promised destination where the angles of the Most High adore. Martha, in those few words of hope to Jesus, demonstrates how she comprehends this hope. May we, with her, be willing to declare that Jesus is the Son of God, the one coming into the world.
Lord of light, as we prepare for Advent at a time when Christmas will feel very different to years gone by, help us to shine the light of faith into places of darkness, bereavement and challenge. Walk with us these coming days we pray, guide our steps and help us to place our trust in you alone, the one who offers faith and the hope of eternal life. Amen.
Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus!