Tuesday 25 April 2023
Isaiah 9:1-6. Justice shall flourish in his time and fullness of peace for ever – Psalm 71(72):2-4, 7-8, 12-13, 17. Ephesians 2:13-18. John 12:23-28.
May God’s peace be with us
The self-giving ‘dying’ of the seed emphasises sacrifice and service for which God’s honour is bestowed and eternal life assured. Jesus speaks of a way of living and dying that he is willing to face, to ultimately accept as God’s will. Yet he is ‘troubled’. On this day, we remember soldiers who were also probably afraid in the face of death. Perhaps some prayed: ‘Father, save me from this hour . . .’
A soldier’s death leaves loved ones bereft, just as Jesus’ humiliation, suffering and death on a cross left his followers grief stricken and lost. And yet death wasn’t an end to the story of the cross. Jesus, healer and teacher, was to be remembered by his followers, to live on in their resurrection faith, to accompany and strengthen them through the Holy Spirit. So too, in the broadest sense, death is not the last word in war. Seeds sprout in the soil of battlefields. Wheat, perhaps, or poppies signifying our remembrance of the dead and our desire and commitment to peace. Isaiah spoke of a child to be born to the embattled Israelites. A child of hope, the Prince of Peace. May God’s peace be with us.