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  • Gosford Anglican Blog

John, Apostle and Evangelist: Living into Easter Faith

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

It’s easy to forget we live post-Resurrection. Life overtakes our faith, our spirituality. We have deadlines, we have children to get schooled at home, we have elderly parents in nursing homes, we fear unemployment, we have a mortgage, or we know the weight of grief. It is why time out to read and reflect on passages of Holy Scripture is crucial to our well-being. Our ‘Lectio Divina’ Sunday evening group is a help in this regard. But we could do this kind of ‘holy reading’ using other texts also, from the perspective of our Gospel. So today we remember St John: apostle and evangelist. We might think of these first Christians as heroes, but their human frailty is ever present. The times when John lived were not easy times, far from it. The gospel bearing his name is written after years of learned wisdom through the trials of living. It is possible he is the unnamed enigmatic character who is referred to a few times as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved.’ It evokes an intimacy with Jesus that must have remained central to John’s life, an anchor that kept him going, day after day - the presence of the Risen One. So, this week’s mid-week Easter Gospel reading is a welcome reminder, one that the older John must have drawn upon often: ‘While it is still dark Mary Magdalene comes to the tomb and sees that the stone has been removed from the tomb.’ Mary then runs, the narrator tells us, to get Simon Peter and ‘the other disciple, him who Jesus loved …’ (John 20.2-8). It is easy for us to jump ahead in this Resurrection story, even as people of faith. In so doing we diminish our own struggles, our own (God-given) humanity. We then think we are not up to it, not good enough, can’t do it! But John would not let us miss the humanity of the story. He recalls standing at the foot of the cross with Mary, Jesus’ mother. No pleasant scene this – just the heart felt ache of love and horror, and upon hearing words from Jesus, John then takes Mary ‘for his own’ (v. 27). A great story as we approach Mother’s Day! Easter faith is something we lean into again and again. Our world, life’s pressures easily discount or distract from this resurrection life. Lord Jesus Christ, alive and a large in the world, help me to follow and find you there today, in the places where I work, meet people, spend money, and make plans. Amen. (Bishop John V. Taylor)

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