The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Lord, I want COVID-19! Yes, give it to me right now! I want it so I can get it out of the way.

Oh, Lord, … um, I don’t want to die … … … I’m not doubting the resurrection, mind you, it’s just that I’d rather live a bit longer – see the grandkids grow, you know … and keep working.

And … er, by the way, Lord, about getting COVID-19, … any chance of me having mild symptoms?

Hi again, I know you’re listening, you always listen and I was thinking about the mild symptoms … can that be mild symptoms without anything permanent lingering … that is, if anything permanent is possible? Just covering all bases, you understand.

Lord, I …

I wonder how often is it really ‘Lord, I want to control my life’?

In Lent we observe Jesus … Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this
cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. (Matthew 26:36-44 ESV)

Living is about choices in environments. A lot of the time we don’t think much about our choices – we just do, live, behave, choose according to all sorts of reasons. We live our lives. We want to live. We’d rather not die. But sometimes our choices and our behaviour come into focus because death has entered the environment. We all know death’s around but prefer it over the horizon and out of sight. But now it is invisibly close. And there is concern and anxiety around. What should be done?

The same things that we can do every day! We choose responsibly how to live each moment following Jesus who himself prayed that no matter what we desire – and ask away! – what we seek above all is that ‘Your will be done’ – for ourselves and for others. Can we trust the one to whom we call out? Well that depends, I suppose, on the nature and character behind the name we cry.

Jesus said to [Martha … and to us], “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25,26 ESV)

[Jesus said] “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)

Lord, I believe, help my unbelief! (Mark 9:24 ESV) GS