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Holy Week Reflections


Isaiah 42 1-9

John 12 1-11

To be tender, to be gentle, is such a gift. This great, restless, awful rage in us, the voice in us that is raised, wishing to be heard. Do I matter? Why am I being ignored? The ego is a hard task-master. The ego eats us up, takes away our air.

But. With God there is this space, this depth, this stillness. It can be hard to sense the stillness because the voice in our head which is jabbering away makes sure we do not hear it. The silence sounds like this… It is the space around words. It is the formless, the unknown. It is the loving presence of God. Let’s just sense it a bit more...

Now, this presence, this secret depth, once we make contact with it, a great gentleness can come upon us.  ‘He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench’ (Isaiah). A lot of the time we fear we are unloved, but if we may only sense this infinite love which God has for us, and for all that is, how lovely we might actually become.

This depth, this stillness, is the depth of God’s unconditional love. Listen to how it holds us now…

Once we make deep contact with this unconditional love, our own acts of love can appear a little grudging and conditioned. Here is how much I will love you. This is how much I shall like you. Jesus was the great high priest of unconditional love (to be honest the Church is still not quite sure how to manage such a fearful love as the love Christ reveals). Mary tonight prophetically enacts Christ’s unconditional love. ‘Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume’ (John).

The more we ground ourselves in God’s gift of stillness, which is hidden in our hearts, the more the unconditioned love of God may act in us.

Now, as we enter a time of quiet prayer, may we know that the house of this church is filled with the fragrance of God’s silent, unconditional love for us, for all that is.


The Reverend Ben Brown


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