Sunday 22 May 2022

Bible Book:

'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.' (v. 27)

John 14:23-29 Sunday 22 May 2022

Psalm 67


These words of Jesus are part of one of the most requested readings at funerals. They are linked with the beginning of John 14, where Jesus promises to return to take people to be with him eternally in a mansion or dwelling-place, depending on the Bible version you use.

For those facing the death of a loved one there is great comfort in hearing that God cares for them and is preparing a better future beyond death. The challenge is that we have no idea what grieving people hear when we speak the words.

We want to inspire a conviction that God knows and understands their suffering. We want them to be able to meet God in their brokenness. For some that will be exactly what happens. For others, the advice "do not let your hearts be troubled" (v. 27) will be heard along with the folk beliefs that have reimagined their loved one as one of heaven’s angels or a star; it’s all OK then.

When the disciples heard Jesus' words, they also had little understanding of what was about to happen. Thomas confessed they didn’t know where Jesus was going or how they would follow (v. 5) and Judas was puzzled about why they were having things explained (v. 22).

For me, the advice of Jesus to his closest friends is: "Don’t worry about understanding everything. Trust me because of who I have been with you and who I'll continue to be." He enlists the loving Father and the ever-present Spirit to reassure them.

It means that, for me, a funeral service is a place to hold out the promise that God will walk through the pain with those who have lost someone dear and who is waiting on the other side of their grief to offer a hope beyond death, especially because Jesus walked that path first and birthed the possibility of new life for all.


To Ponder:

  • How can we embody hope as we walk alongside those who are grieving but may not yet have faith in Jesus?
  • How easy do we find it to confess to God that we don’t understand?

PrayerLoving God, thank you that you walk with us in our pain and loss. Help us to do that for others. Amen.

Previous Page Saturday 04 June 2022
Next Page Monday 23 May 2022