The Labour Party has appointed a new leader. I mention it because you may have missed it in all the other bad news filling the bulletins. Not that Sir Keir Starmer’s appointment is bad news and I’m sure Labour Party activists are hoping otherwise but it wasn’t long before normal party politics resumed albeit with less agro and unpleasantness than before. Sir Keir questioned the government’s preparations for and approach to the Coronavirus outbreak. Well of course, it’s not only the government but when the dust settles lots of questions will be asked of all kinds of people about the country’s preparation.
Preparation is key to most things that are important. Painting a room? Preparation is vital. Wanting to sow a lawn or plant vegetables, prepare! Even visit the shops and preparation of a list is vital now in a way that it wasn’t before. Anyway, enough of that, I was reading Mark 14:12-16 this morning and one word seemed to dominate and that was the word “prepare” and at one level while it was simply stating that the disciples were making ready to eat a meal, it seemed to me that more was being said.
Within 24 hours Jesus would be hanging on a cross, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world sacrificed, and the careful preparations made by Jesus to eat the Passover reflect his control of everything happening now. His life is not taken it is given up, and while the disciples prepare to commemorate an event which brought salvation to the Hebrews in the past. Jesus is preparing to give his followers something by which to remember his death, the purpose for it and all he achieved by it.
We continue that to this day and though we cannot, because of the present circumstances meet to celebrate the Lord’s Supper as we usually do, that doesn’t prevent the preparation of our hearts to remember the cross. And what do we remember? His body broken for us, his blood shed, his life poured out, given in our place that we may be free from sin and know the freedom of the children of God. Without doubt though they prepared the room and the lamb the disciples could never have guessed the significance of all they were doing. We do because we stand on the other side of the events of that Passover festival. The cross is known to us so let’s prepare our hearts to remember his death but with deep humility and thankfulness.
Heavenly Father, as I approach Easter so much around me calls or my attention, alarms of every kind fill my mind, uncertainty about the future steals my joy. Lord focus my heart on you, be an anchor for my soul in the storms of life. Even now turn my eyes to the cross, and give me a fresh glimpse of your love for me, a deeper understanding of the call on my life to follow and serve you and so fill my soul with your peace and joy. I ask it in Jesus powerful name. AMEN
According to Thy gracious word by New Scottish Hymns and Christ is mine forever by CityAlight
PS. Since we can’t meet together on Friday look out for a special Good Friday reflection on our website and on Facebook.