.if you have come to Church this evening /morning full of gloom & doom..here out of duty obligation, or questioning your God in an illness or bereavement, & in a gloomily grim season, & with Lent in 10 days time, you are in good company.. ..for Job in 1st rdg llife & faith can’t get any worse .. “..remember that my life is but a breath, & that my eyes will never again see joy..” ..we shout one word in grief anger & despair ..& yet always with hope, never hopeless ..“why?” ..for demanding answers instead of shouldering the Cross let us ask for Our Lords mercy & forgiveness..
“..nothing for my own but nights of grief..” ; Lord have mercy “..restlessly I fret till twilight falls..” ; Christ have mercy “..swifter than a weavers shuttle my days have passed..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..on Radio 2 each weekday evg Jo Wiley’s music is interspersed with short soundbites about listeners & daily life..just before 9pm she plays special piece of music for parents out there on taxi run ; a father sitting in layby waiting to collect daughter from theatre visit; mother outside local hall waiting to take home her son & two friends from an evg class, or at station fretting over beloved daughter coming home from university interview ..a different world to one most of us know & gripe about..fulll of life energy expectancy encounter story & organic love & spirituality..such loving dedication from Mum & Dad rarely appreciated & seldom voiced..a sense of Jo Wiley & taxi run in gospel as Our Lord our spiritual companion & parent, runs himself ragged in serving those who expressed their need of him..important to realise he’s there for those who seek him out ; if you keep your distance out of self care, protectionism or holding resentment or grudges for favours asked for & not granted, he will, like Job, leave you alone to get on with it..if you see him & his light [ like a taxi signalling its light & availability ] is recognised & responded to, if you signal your need of him in a sign of the Cross or a simple prayer “Lord help me” the journey home begins..he’d begun the Sabbath in one place he needed to be, in synagogue, at prayer alongside rest of village..& having done his religious business he made with two friends to home of more friends, to find Simons mother in law was ill..Simon Jesus’ favourite, both rock solid dependable & hesitant wobbly jelly..Jesus is told..no dithering no salute to convention delaying dutifully to Sabbath laws or fish only Fridays, Jesus gets cracking, she is cured & gets back to what any mother is best at..the taxi run..waiting on them, down to earth hospitality..he met urgent need then waited for dutiful & practising to catch up; they’d been led to believe that faith only operates in time lines; if it was a choice between going to Mass on Sunday or on rare family restorative day out to coast, or to seek a healing of an illness, the decision was a no brainer..notice this is Ch 1Marks gospel where people are as yet still terrified of contacting him “out of hours”..so they waited until after sunset, sabbath & religious business over, & real life & business could begin again..whole town came “crowding round door” some to watch, others to be cured, others on taxi run bring relatives &neighbours..& he cured “many” not all but “many” we know what its like to feel like we belong to the “few” the unsuccessful..I am praying at moment for devout Christian couple in Bradford; husband dying in hospice.. they are, unlike Job, convinced that God will perform a miracle & cure him..meanwhile Catholic sister in law realistically wants them to prepare one another for the inevitable..”Job &the Mystery of Suffering” a must read..as OT seeks restitution & reward, Jesus promises redemption & resurrection..some of us still living & believing in the old dispensation..in black taxi instead of uber..& then for Jesus his own time to sleep before rising in dark to find a lonely place to pray..& where pray is your lonely place?..your space where you escape to once day with mug of coffee..your cave nest attic manshed kitchen..where you refind yourself & rebalance life faith & relationships..the layby where you park up your taxi for few precious moments before text mobile phone or door bell rings bringing good news..news of being needed & of being loved..”everybody is looking for you” for Jesus & for you..if you need a taxi or a job doing ask busiest overworked & answer is always “yes..of course..when?..I’ll be there!” look at list of those who signed up for our dementia mail drop, & you find named nine of our finest..& “Jesus moves on” he doesn’t come as an owner occupier, more an artist in residence, stays for short while, brings gospel to life, engaging with those who ask his help..he’ll do the business here & in hospice in Bradford & move on; leave you, not a Job bereft in self pity but joyful grateful for healing & health [the health that really matters] on a journey towards resurrection..so that like Simons mother in law you can get back to doing what you used to do best before you caught your fever your disease..& what’s the fare for journey in Jesus’ taxi? “you received without cost give without charge”..so call him now from your heart.. [5thSunYrB Mk 1;29-39]