There is hope
John 16: 16-22 (NIVUK)
16 Jesus went on to say, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.’
17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, ‘What does he mean by saying, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,” and “Because I am going to the Father”?’ 18 They kept asking, ‘What does he mean by “a little while”? We don’t understand what he is saying.’
19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, ‘Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me”? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
At a time when many are unable to see our friends or loved ones (unless perhaps on a screen), these words from Jesus give us something to hold on to.
Many people have been unable to attend funeral services of loved ones because of current restrictions and are forced to mourn from afar, which has caused a great deal of distress and pain. To be able to trust that although we are sad just now, we will see our loved ones again, in this life and/or the next and that our hearts will be filled with gladness once again is a light that shines brightly in this otherwise dark time.
As normality slowly returns, may this promise from Jesus turn your tears of sadness into rivers of joy.
There is hope…
Let us pray…
Good and gracious God,
Guide us through the gulfs of grief and pain.
Lead us as we follow you through the forests of fear,
Touch our hearts as tears fall from our eyes
And assure us of your presence as gladness approaches.
Bless all who are facing darkness in their lives.
Strengthen them and allow joy to dawn in them once more.
Hear us we pray in Jesus’ name.
Symbolic action — As a time of prayer hold your two hands in front of you — look at your left hand and take a moment to hold the things that sadden you. Look at your right hand and take a moment to hold the things that bring you joy. Then bring your hands together, fingers interlaced, to bring it all before God.