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The bad news before the good news. . .

This reflection on Palm Sunday is from our Reader Ian Fletcher. Thanks Ian!

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This is a very different Palm Sunday to the usual one that we are used to. Jesus knew on Palm Sunday as he rode into Jerusalem that bad news was to follow and that bad news was a necessary prelude to the good news of Easter Sunday.

As we look at the effect of Covid 19 on our world we can see a lot of bad news before we reach a solution to what is a terrible disease but we know that we will in due course come out on the other side of this disease.

We have seen fantastic responses to the situation we are in. Things are happening that we did not think were possible. A hospital has been built in London in 9 days. Laboratories are working on a vaccine. 3D printers are producing much needed equipment.

I see God at work in the response to this situation. I also understand the question of many as to why God allowed this to happen in the first place. This is a regular question that we all struggle to answer and has been asked since the beginning of time I cannot answer it but in Genesis Joseph speaking of his brothers said “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Gen 50:20).

In the Bible we tend as humans to skip through the tragedy to get to the happy ending. We miss the complicated pregnancy to get to Christmas morning. We miss the flight into Egypt to get to Jesus in the Temple. We miss the illness to get to the healing. We miss the hungry to get to the loaves and fishes. We miss the martyrdom to get to the sainthood. We miss the Crucifixion to get to the Resurrection.

Good does comes out of evil so perhaps, as we face the consequences of Covid 19, we should take comfort from what Jesus was facing on the first Palm Sunday as he enjoyed his ride into Jerusalem. He knew that bad news would follow but that the bad news was a necessary prelude to good news. We share in that ride knowing that God loves us and that his love underpins all that he does for us.

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The Heart and Anchor Churches in Bradford BD3