Scripture Notes – Sunday 18th April 2021

Their joy was so great, they could not believe it.

In bereavement, very human and very natural questions arise: where are our beloved dead? What kind of existence do they have? Does it matter that we cannot really imagine it?

Such questions already come up in 1 Thessalonians. Paul gives his most considered reply in 1 Corinthians 15 — dealing precisely with the inability of some Christ-believing Corinthians to imagine the dead to be alive in Christ…one who can blame them? Paul explore this further reality and tries to expand their imagination…but he knows that he cannot really put words on what lies outside our experience and beyond our words.

Describing a spiritual experience he had, he puts it like this: I come now to visions and revelations granted by the Lord. I know a Christian man who fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know—God knows) was caught up as far as the third heaven. And I know that this same man (whether in the body or apart from the body, I do not know—God knows) was caught up into paradise, and heard words so secret that human lips may not repeat them. (2 Corinthians 12:1–4) The unsayable is, well, unsayable.

The Readings

Some Inspiration

On Sunday, a setting of Psalm 118 was used and people seemed to like it a lot. It is sung in Hebrew, but with a very fresh English text provided. The singing is quietly passionate.

Easter to Pentecost

Volume 6 in the Hearers of the Word series takes us beyond Pentecost to Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi. Copies can be ordered here.