Life beyond boundaries

In our part of the world nature defies the long dry season with a blaze of colour before the new rains arrive. Blue Jacarandas, red Flamboyants and white mauve Frangipanis appear round the corner of the road. They lift the heart and hint at the bright future that draws us on.

holy-bibleThe cries of children kicking a ball in a refugee camp, or even a besieged city, defy the expected.

You might expect a person so physically handicapped they cannot bend enough to sit on a chair but have to lie on a mat on the floor to feel sorry. And when her physical disability is joined to an intellectual disability you might say what point is there in such a life? Many ask that question and think, “It would be better she had never been born.” But if you spent time with Innocente and looked into her eyes you would have seen her amazing smile – a smile like a window into another world – and you would see the point of her short life.

God gives us countless hints of what is to come – what we call, ‘The Resurrection.’ The poet William Wordsworth wrote an ode on, “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.” He gives a long and detailed description of the countryside in a corner of NW England, evoking thoughts “too deep for tears.”

We can all recall such intimations even if they were fleeting. I remember a huge skid on a main street in Harare when I was going a little too fast after the first rains and the road was coated with seven months of oil drops. I visited all four lanes and ended up facing the way I had come. If there had been any other car near me that would have been my last day. But it flashed across my mind and heart that my late mother had something to do with my escape.

I find it hard to believe that everything could have ended for me had I died that day. Yet there are many Sadducees today who deny there is any such thing as a resurrection or life after death. When you die, that’s it. It’s over. You no longer exist.

As we move to the close of the Church’s “dry season” – the long period “after Pentecost” – we have a sudden blooming of witness to the Resurrection. God is the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob. “He is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all people are in fact alive.” (Luke 20:38) Jesus speaks of two ages or two worlds; the one we know so well and see and touch each day, and the one we do not see but all our being resonates with our faith and tells us there is something unimaginable to come.

6 November 2016                   Sunday 32 C

2 Maccabees 7:1-14                2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5                     Luke 20:27-38

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