Tag Archives: new life

With You

How could you let this happen?
How could you leave us alone?
we needed you
to rescue this situation
and you weren’t here.

We thought you loved us,
cared about us,
what happened to us,
but you left us alone,
you didn’t come
when we needed you most
at our lowest point.

When you weep
I weep,
when you hurt
I hurt,
when you are broken
and weighed down with life
I am broken too.

let me see,
let me be with you
in the place of despair.

I reach into
your pain,
the place of death

and I bring life,
new life
in and through me.

It’s yours.
I am with you

John 11:32-44 (CEV)

32 Mary went to where Jesus was. Then as soon as she saw him, she knelt at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw that Mary and the people with her were crying, he was terribly upset 34 and asked, “Where have you put his body?”

They replied, “Lord, come and you will see.”

35 Jesus started crying, 36 and the people said, “See how much he loved Lazarus.”

37 Some of them said, “He gives sight to the blind. Why couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

38 Jesus was still terribly upset. So he went to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone rolled against the entrance. 39 Then he told the people to roll the stone away. But Martha said, “Lord, you know that Lazarus has been dead four days, and there will be a bad smell.”

40 Jesus replied, “Didn’t I tell you that if you had faith, you would see the glory of God?”

41 After the stone had been rolled aside, Jesus looked up toward heaven and prayed, “Father, I thank you for answering my prayer. 42 I know that you always answer my prayers. But I said this, so that the people here would believe that you sent me.”

43 When Jesus had finished praying, he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The man who had been dead came out. His hands and feet were wrapped with strips of burial cloth, and a cloth covered his face.

Jesus then told the people, “Untie him and let him go.”

I, Davezelenka [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)


I’m not entirely sure I can see this picture as giving birth, as Stephen Cottrell suggests (p64).  I see it more as Christ sitting amongst the desolation and danger, holding danger, fear and possibility – an image I find powerful in itself.

But I’m happy to go along with the birthing suggestion.  That from the desolation, the darkness, the fear can come new life.

By Carly & Art from Washington, DC (Gamboling lamboling!) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

For there has to be the possibility and hope of the wilderness – it is not the end, there is something else to come, another hope, another way, different potential.  Jesus returned from the Wilderness strengthened for his work.  Life may never be the same again.  Both the wilderness and birth change that, but there will still be life.

Jesus will go from this place to suffer.  But his suffering and scars, bring us healing.  In the depths of fear, deep in the wilderness, caught up in anger and pain, we may not feel that, but it remains a truth to cling to – sometimes all we can cling to.

In the words to The Romans:

A Wonderful Future for God’s People

18 I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us. 19 In fact, all creation is eagerly waiting for God to show who his children are. 20 Meanwhile, creation is confused, but not because it wants to be confused. God made it this way in the hope 21 that creation would be set free from decay and would share in the glorious freedom of his children. 22 We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth.

23 The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children. This means that our bodies will also be set free. 24 And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. 25 However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it.

These thoughts are reflecting on Spencer’s painting The Scorpion (seen here at the bottom of the second page).

This year for Lent, I am reading Christ in the Wilderness by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, published by SPCK, reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s paintings of that title.

I’m not necessarily going to blog every day on it, just when something leaps out at me – and they will be thoughts rather than full blog posts