“Abide with us, that so, this life Of suffering over past, An Easter of unending joy
We may attain at last”.
This stanza is taken from one of the ancient hymns of the Church and used in the hour of readings in the Prayer of the Church. It struck me this year, maybe because of my connection with the suffering people of Myanmar (now down to six hours of electricity each day) and the horrid headlines coming out of Ukraine. At least we can deal with floods and drought, let alone fires, in relative peace and with enormous support.
So where do we find the promise of joy in this week’s readings to carry us a little further on the road to Easter?
Firstly, there is the story of God interrupting the wandering life of Abram and his family to make a Covenant, giving Abraham new purpose in his life and establishing a promise of being chosen.
Secondly, a development of that Covenant occurs on the mountain when God reveals to the world that Jesus is special:
“This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.”
The inner Jesus had been hidden, perhaps their eyes had not been open nor his words understood. Whatever, when they looked back, their silence was broken and the power of the Spirit enabled them to reveal to the world the real Jesus…Easter!
We need to make a similar journey. Our true inner life, made in the image of God, has to be revealed to ourselves and to our world. Lent is meant to allow the Spirit to blow, sometimes furiously, at other times, like a gentle Zephyr, that which inhibits our being revealed, like too much hair or enveloped in cobwebs, needs to be blown away.
Let us resolve to “Listen to him” more attentively this week we may not have time or ability to go up a real mountain, but we can go to a special “mountain place” and pray.
Listen to him…
Let the Spirit blow!