At the table

Homily preached by Fr John Pritchard
on Monday 6th April 2020 (Monday of Holy Week)

Isaiah 42.1–9; Psalm 36.5–11; Hebrews 9.11–15; John 12.1–11

Well, we are now caught up in the wonderful stories of Holy Week, and today, Jesus’ meeting with Lazarus at the table, not at the grave, but at a place of nourishment where even the raised are fed.  This is a dynamic we will see in Jesus’ story – that though he too will be found alive in the garden by his tomb, mostly he will be revealed post-resurrection at a table, feeding those whose grief couldn’t even allow them to believe or eat, feeding his body, the apostles, the disciples through the revelation of himself.

At this table in John’s Gospel is poor old Judas.  But Judas wants to undermine even what he sees with his eyes.  He wants to frustrate the workings of the other apostles and those who serve Jesus, to see the immediate troubles, and not the greater purpose of Jesus’ ministry.  Even though he has evidence that Jesus raises the dead and has power over the grave there before his eyes, Judas is blind, and, still serving his own agenda and trajectory, goes about his narrative and business as he will.

And even with this knowledge of the power revealed in Jesus that I am sure others will have claimed also…  the leaders, the chief priests will destroy the evidence of this power by ultimately also destroying Lazarus, even though he is a testimony to the power of God revealed in Jesus.

It’s true of some in the church today… there are those who will not accept what they see and live only in the troubles of the present moment that they can create… thankfully those people are few and far between, but all people are still welcome, and just as Judas was never asked to leave!  It is important to remember that he is an important figure in our story and one who has to be forgiven at some point.

In this week of holiness where we journey with Christ even though there are those who will undermine and thwart Christ, and the purpose of his kingdom, the facts stand for themselves… whatever we contemplate or witness in our imagination this week, we are destined and called to sit at the table with the one who is risen, and at that table, in whatever state we find ourselves, we will be fed and nurtured.

Let us be those who sit at the table of Christ and with him; those who see new life, and are part of that life in the world.  Let us live, loving God, not seeking to sabotage the community with our own brokenness, but mindful of our fallibility and failures and failings, mindful that we are held as an essential part of the community – still part of God’s life and kingdom which is being worked out this very week in story and in deed.

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