Sunday 3rd April 2022
5th Sunday in Lent

Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8

A congregation engaging with both of today's Old Testament readings might do so with particular poignancy in the present economic circumstances. What does it mean for citizens of a western nation to pray "restore our fortunes"? At what cost to the developing nations of the world might the economic concerns of western nations be resolved? What does it mean within the present political situation in the Middle East to speak of Zion's fortunes? These are all difficult questions and ones that might more easily be avoided, but they remind us again that God's word is deeply relevant to the everyday issues and circumstances that we face through our working lives.

These questions provide a powerful backdrop to the New Testament epistle. Paul may well appear to shift attention away from the "worldly" to more spiritual and heavenly matters, but he does so not to escape the real world, but to make sense of it. The prevailing message is that human perspectives and values are inadequate - whether we are seeking to make sense of our own personal struggles, or the major issues facing our world, it is to Christ and His Kingdom that our attention needs to be directed. These are powerful realities for members of a congregation to engage in the midst of their working lives.