Highworth United Reformed Church

Here for you

From "Me" to "We"

By The Revd Robert Jordan MA
John 10:1-18

It began in the dark. Whether that is 'dark' because of no light, or 'dark' because of fears, doubts, death...I don't know. But we all know what being in the dark is... a loss of orientation, the rest of our senses become more acute, the confusion on what surrounds us, the un-knowable

In the Gospel of John this dark moment is a reminder that it is still the continuation of the Friday events: one of oppression, betrayal, torture, sacrifice, the darkness of death, the uncertainty of the Saturday where nobody was aware of what was really happening, and what nobody yet knows of what is to come. At the opening of this scene there is no empty tomb yet, there is no experience of the resurrection... so what is really happening?​The truth of the matter is that death still seems to be the victor of this event. This is the starting point for the journey Mary Magdalene sets out this morning. But this is soon to change, for her and for all...even for us. 

There is a development in this story...one of doubt, one of questions, one of not really believing what they see. It goes against any form of accepted logic. So much so that in spite of the events, if we decided to finish the narrative on vs 10 we would have most people going home...nothing lies ahead. But that is not what happens. 

A crying woman still hoping. Still affirming the human understanding of the story...and then she hears her name, and recognizes. It's not really the empty tomb which changes her, it is her name being called out. It is the humanity of this moment. She has been recognized. We could say that this is the moment of light. It is only then that she can approach the tomb, which she will discover as empty

This is the miracle of Easter. The darkness gives way to light when God reminds us of our full humanity, that humanity he loved till the end. This is the moment we all look for. Just imagine the hunger for humanity in the lives of women, men, children, elderly; lonely, rejected, abandoned, persecuted. That moment when someone sees them as "people"... it is then that light shines and dark is no more

Can you imagine the people in destroyed Syria hearing their name, can you imagine the refugees in Calais hearing their name, can you imagine the kidnapped school girls from Nigeria hearing their name, can you imagine the disappeared from the coups in Latin America hearing their name, can you imagine the people sleeping in the streets of our country hearing their name. Can you imagine your darkest moment and hearing Jesus call you by name? A time when suddenly light shines where just a moment ago there was darkness. This is Resurrection. 

A time to recognise that Jesus’ death on the cross invites us to ally with those who are oppressed and suffering. That by his death and resurrection he is calling us to work together for justice, to create a new world rising out of the darkness of the old. Jesus says to Mary "Go and tell". The resurrected rescues those who have been left on the sidelines and brings them into the centre: who could have imagined that it would be a woman, a woman who was doubted, who was rejected...who suddenly has to share the greatest piece of news the world has ever heard. Since then the margins have become the centre. 

It is a time to share how lives have been transformed. That those so long in the dark now are in the light, that those so long considered dead are now alive. The Resurrection is the proclamation of life as never before. This is the Good News! 

And yes I know, the theme for today may not be grammatically correct: from "me" to "we", but it is the poetry of words, and it is the new reality of life. No longer a person alone in the dark, but a person on the way to meet others... from being "me", alone in a corner to becoming "we" walking the way of life. Resurrection is in the midst of us. Thanks be to God