Todays reflection on the Circuit YouTube Channel comes courtesy of Ruth Coward a member at All Saints Methodist Church and one of our Local Preachers. Thank you Ruth!
There are virginal splashes of white in the garden.
It is the "Bride" shrub ruthlessly moved last year from one part of the garden to another.
But it is Spring and it is flowering. The delicate splashes of yellow from the daffodils and forsythia bush, wave in the breeze. The tulips slowly push through the soil until they are erect.
Yes! all around signs of Spring are here. Signs of God's presence and the beautiful world He has made. The birds are singing, many of them the beautiful rippling cadences we associate with Spring; the busy little hedge sparrows flit and squabble in the hedge.
Yes! Spring is here and all around us we experience the stirrings of joy and thanksgiving in our hearts.
But no! The busy road in front of our gates is empty, there are no noisy children passing on their way to and from school. What is wrong?
Beyond the firmly closed gates strides an unseen enemy, an invisible killer, a death bringer we do not understand.
The beautiful garden again re-assuring of God's creativity and love holds back an unseen horror. Will our barred gates and high fence keep us safe?
But no! Two thousand years ago God acted in an invisible way, in a creative way of love -- He sent his Son.
A Son who hung on a cross, a Son who suffered unbelievable pain and horror.
A Son who, by His death left a terrified and bewildered band, but a Son who three days later defeated death and fear.
A son who is here today -- right here -- in the middle, the epicentre, of our present bewilderment and fear. A son, Jesus, who is here in our darkest hour.
A Jesus who is here bringing comfort to the elderly man, alone in the silent flat.
Jesus, who is with the doctors in a crowded ward, helping patients fighting to inhale the very air around them.
A Jesus in the crowded refugee camps in Syria where the people wait in fear for the arrival of the virus and certain death
A Jesus with the weary doctor playing the piano at the end of his shift to sooth and calm the patients and colleagues.
He is there beside the priest sprinkling holy water over the rows of coffins in the empty church
He is there with the woman dying alone, without her beloved family, in the chaos and panic of a crowded ward.
He sits by the exhausted delivery truck driver anxious to take supplies for empty supermarket shelves.
Jesus is with the stressed young pharmacist desperately trying to find the correct drugs for the anxious mother standing there.
Yes! The suffering Jesus walks in gardens full of breath taking beauty, gardens full of the promise of Spring, but He moves through our suffering, painful bewildered and terrified world.
He is there! He is there!
He is there at the very heart of our suffering and fear.
He is there!