Reflection for Friday 27th May 2022

Nigel Price

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Today I’m in our campervan at Bude for a couple of days relaxation. Fortunately the weather seems to be kind!

John 16.2023

Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labour, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.


At any time this is a difficult reading. Today it is particularly so. Today is a day for crying out “why!” Today we are still reeling from the news of 19 primary school children and two teachers killed in what ought to have been a place of safety. And worse, we have been here before. And we have heard people of all levels in America making the same cry, at a loss to understand why nothing has changed. So do we believe Jesus when he says that our pain will turn to joy? OK, but when? How much more pain must we bear before we see joy? And when will those things we ask of the Father, those things that we are promised will be given to us, when are they going to arrive? It’s rather like being in the NHS queue for a new hip or knee. The pain seems to be unending; and there is plenty more stuff to be angry within our world.

I don’t have the answer. How could I possibly think that I might second guess God? Which doesn’t help you – or me, so all I can say is that we have been here before. Just look in the Psalms where the anguish of the psalmist is clear to see. If we have even the slightest grain of faith, then we know that there will be joy after our pain. How long we have to wait, and how it will come is in God’s hands and all I can say is that if we have that tiny grain of faith we must know that praying and praising are all we can offer. It sounds small consolation, but in truth it means the whole world to us. So may God give us his comfort and his joy in this world and the next.

And so we pray the Collect:

The Collect (Additional)

Risen, ascended Lord
as we rejoice at your triumph,
fill your Church on earth with power and compassion,
that all who are estranged by sin
may find forgiveness and know your peace,
to the glory of God the Father. Amen