Sunday 2 April 2017

Vicar’s Reflection: Sunday 2nd April 2017, Lent 5

“There is nothing certain in life – save death and taxes.” A saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin comes to mind at this time of the year as we prepare our tax returns and as we prepare to remember the death of Jesus on Good Friday. At Christmas, we remember the birth of Jesus, the astonishing reality of God’s incarnation as one of us, which leads inevitably to reality of his death. The manner of his death, surrounded by betrayal, darkness, lies and cruelty served to expose the depth of human sin. Yet it also revealed the height and breadth of God’s love by which our sin is met and overcome in Christ. To transform betrayal into trust, darkness into light, lies into truth and death into life. The story of the raising of Lazarus serves as foretaste of this triumph. This was not a cheap and easy triumph. In reading this story, we should notice that, despite knowing Lazarus would be raised, Jesus wept and sorrowed in the presence of death. Jesus also had to deal with paying taxes and advised his disciples that this was a civic responsibility (Matt 17:24-27 & 22:17-21). We can be thankful however, that although death and paying taxes may be life’s only certainties, at least we don’t have to die every year. Alex Czerwonka

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